The effect team learning has on the development of creativity in a college classroom : an intergrated case study.
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Simpson, Mary E., 1954-
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This study looked at the triadic relationship between the creative and design processes, team learning, and this triad's influence on the student's finished project. While the typical design student works independently with very little conscious feedback or interaction from their peers, this research has shown this approach limits the student's success. Two purposeful samples were selected from female undergraduate students with a declared major in apparel design or merchandising. The first sample consisted of ten juniors and seniors. The second sample of ten individuals was selected from sophomores and freshmen. Individuals from each of the groups were further divided into two different subgroups of five people using a randomization process. Quantitative data was collected through the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking and a created rubric. Qualitative data was collected through observations, interviews, and online journal entries from each student. Findings indicated collaborative learning expanded the student's creative thinking process and enhanced their cooperative mentality. Intrinsic motivation within the teams was higher and the teams found it a supportive experience to have a specific group they could discuss their "problems" or "design challenges" with. The research indicated the longer the teams were together, the more successful the collaborative team effort and the more the individual's creative thinking process developed, suggesting teams be kept constant through several projects. Students in teams became more proficient in obtaining information from team members by asking "what if" and "how questions". The lower division students were more receptive to the collaborative team learning approach, suggesting this process begins at, as early of an age level as possible. The research showed a relationship between the final product, the creative and design processes, team learning, and the interconnectivity and influence of the person, press (environment), process, and product. Team members were more proficient in obtaining information from team members, were stronger listeners, effective in giving constructive criticism, developing analytical and divergent thinking skills, and strengthening their adaptive creativity. This study supports the position that creativity is a process in which an innovative product is incrementally developed. This development can be enhanced using teams and the collaborative learning process.