Robyn Philip

Ruth Bridgstock, Shaun Nykvist
Queensland University of Technology

Robyn's background is in elearning, educational development and creative writing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing (Macquarie) and a Masters in Distance Education (Deakin).

Thesis Title: 
Designing for creativity in technology-mediated learning environments in higher education

The notion that creativity is confined only to individuals with exceptional talent is now challenged by an increasing number of researchers. There is a growing body of evidence that students can develop their creativity, and that creativity can be designed for in higher education curricula. This argument for ‘second generation creativity’ suggests that most students have the potential for creative ways of thinking, doing and innovating, as individuals and in collaboration with others. While arts education has long been considered to be effective in promoting creativity, disciplines such as the sciences, IT, and business have much to offer in terms of pedagogical models, as do other domains. Creativity, in some form or other, is now commonly listed by Australian universities as a graduate attribute, but it is not clear that educators in general know how creativity can be measured, expressed or developed as a graduate capability. The development of creativity is particularly problematic in the context of highly connected, technology-mediated learning environments, where learning and teaching problems often require unique and innovative solutions. And while the literature on creativity has grown over the last few decades, research on the issues of developing capabilities within networked, elearning contexts in higher education (HE) is less evident. The aim of this research, therefore, is to investigate how creativity can be developed in higher education, within technology-mediated learning environments. Both creative teaching, and teaching for creativity will be explored. The methodology is a mixed methods approach, incorporating qualitative and quantitative data gathering methods (survey, interview, case study and focus groups), underpinned by social constructivist theories of learning and connectivist theories of knowledge.