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Personal Creativity Standards

What are the creativity standards you use to assess student work processes and outcomes?

This discussion post is part of the Adobe Education Exchange Professional Development Workshop, Creativity in 21st Century Classrooms: Assessing Creativity in Today’s Classrooms.

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Rob Amonette

Posted on 4/16/18 7:42:13 PM Permalink

I use the same standards as developed by EP Torrance in my elementary art room.​

Michael Reilly

Posted on 1/23/17 5:34:54 PM Permalink

Depending on the project, I offer a self-evaluation...After a student does it, we sit down together and talk about. ​

karin h

Posted on 7/26/16 12:56:36 PM Permalink

When teaching, I try to interest and inspire students to believe that they have the skills to produce quality work (and not to give up.). Assessments include a self evaluation on what worked and what didn't. If the student isn't happy about their project they need to write about it so they can improve next time by recognising the areas that they had problems with.

Rod O Regan

Posted on 1/6/16 2:43:01 PM Permalink

As a department, we try to measure our creativity with the following:

Engage – do our lessons/resources engage the learners?

Enrich – do our lessons/resources enrich the learner’s experiences?

Inspire - do our lessons/resources inspire the learners to want to learn?

Interact - do our lessons/resources encourage interaction from the learners and allow interaction with other learners?

Interest - is the content interesting and does it facilitate creativity in the classroom?

Caleb Clark

Posted on 10/15/15 3:43:58 PM Permalink

My Creative Standards 2015

  1. Investigate the, disciplines, crafts, mediums, programs, processes or any other aspects of your key interests and learn new ways of doing.

  2. Experiment with mediums freely and as often as possible. Be flexible and perceptive.

  3. Put forth Effort! If you have “no idea” play with something new until you have one! GO-GO-GO

  4. Do not abandon Ideas! Be relentless and make a Frankenstein project if you have to, just don’t give up! Show the projects, assignments and work who is the boss and create even if you stagger!

  5. Always have at least one Goal. This can be as basic or complex as you want to make it, but without a goal you have “no idea” what you are doing. Example: I will draw squares. < That is a goal! I will create the first fully functioning hover chair. < That is also a goal! Just have one!!!

  6. Respect the rules...and test them! Follow and work within Guidelines! These can be set by others; teachers, gallery directors, bosses, parents, yourself, etc. Always!!!! more important than rules are the guidelines. Within your academy, school, job or other institution there may be rules, but within art and innovation... creativity cannot exist constrained by rules!

Michelle Kramer

Posted on 5/14/15 11:26:13 PM Permalink

I teach grade 9-12 Video Production/Media Arts and although I strive to value creativity highly, I find it difficult to be clear about how a student earns a '10' or an '8' for creativity. To help this, I plan to incorporate into my existing rubrics and assessment tools that ask students to reflect about their creativity on the subject. Our student-driven oral critiques end up looking at creativity along with the more traditional examination of technique and skills; however, I have a difficult time assigning a point value to this aspect of their work.

So, students will be asked to describe:

  1. Sources of inspiration--is this plagiarized work? How were you inspired by sources? What makes your work unique from other works?
  2. Ideas that were abandoned--was this the best idea or was this the only idea? Did you draft or innovate? What did you discover about the idea and/or production in this process?
  3. New experiences--what is new to you about this production? What haven't you tried before? Where did this production lead you that you've not experienced before?
  4. New inspirations--what do you wish to try next?

Knowing that these are high school students in an elective class, I would expect to ask students to select two of these four questions to write about as part of their written reflections.

Shelley Ortner

Posted on 4/28/15 9:17:47 PM Permalink

My standards for high school visual arts are as follows:

Use of design principles and composition

Use of art elements

Does your concept engage the viewer? Is it interesting and evocative?

Does this project show technical proficiency in its use of medium?

Is student voice evident or are images borrowed from other sources?

What effort was shown here? Did you take creative risks? Was class time used wisely? Was the project on-time?

I have students evaluate themselves with this rubric then they participate in a group critique. I grade from this rubric as well.

Amanda Perko

Posted on 3/5/15 5:32:45 PM Permalink

My music standards for the middle school kids I grow with include (from a keyboard project including creating a variation on a given known theme and a writing prompt):

Writing prompt:

-Did you use appropriate grade level (7th) grammar and spelling?

-Was appropriate musical terminology used along with correct pronunciations during presentations?

-Did the prompt include at least three significant life events/biological information?

-Did the prompt include at least three significant musical events or compositions?

Variation Performance Presentation:

-Did the student speak confidently during presentations?

-Was the original theme played using correct notes and rhythms?

-Was the originally created variation written with no errors or written conventions?

-Did the student play their own created variation with no errors in performance (notes or rhythms)?

-Was a steady beat maintained throughout both pieces?

Bob Tuttle

Posted on 2/24/15 6:42:18 PM Permalink

In my Computer Technology 131 lab class I strongly encourage creativity. The process starts with:

1) Having every student submit a project that the entire class will work on.

2) Have the class vote on the top 5-10 projects, considering: creativity, relavence to the class, ability to be done in one semester, and general enthusiasm about the project.

3) From all the student input, 1 project is selected. The lab students are broken up into teams of 3 to 5 students, each having different abilities (at the beginning of the class I have the students fill out a questionnaire that helps with this process)

4) Depending on the selected project, teams will either all be working on the same thing, or ideally on a piece of the project that has to work with all the other pieces. The later requires periodic reviews to make sure everything will fit. In many cases creativity shows up as an interative process of refinement to complete the project.

5) In the last 2-3 weeks, the sub-projects come together for the final project, and students are challenged to discuss how they were creative in the process.

6) Since every semester class selects a different type of project, I don't have one set tool for measuring creativity, but have found that the students do a great job of pointing out to their fellow students where they have done a great job, and where improvements could be made.

Janet Wentum

Posted on 2/24/15 9:36:35 AM Permalink

At present, I don't have any standards. I just admire their work and correct the grammar and assist them to have a logical flow to their work when it's a written piece.

After the readings in this course, this is the rubric I'll adopt.

Rubric for assessing creativity

  • What story are you telling or what is the purpose of the work you did?
  • Who did you create this for?
  • What motivated you to complete the work?
  • What do you like best in the work that you did?
  • What do you wish you could have done differently?
  • What stopped you from making any further change to your work?
  • How will you rate the work you did

a. work in progress b. a finished product that needs some corrections c. a finished product that may need a few tweaks. d. perfect nothing could make it better

  • If you could do this assignment again, what would you do differently next time?
  • Did you think of creating any other thing before choosing this topic
  • What helped you to come up with this idea?
  • Did you make any revisions before the work was finished?

Dorothy Yu

Posted on 1/22/15 6:24:09 AM Permalink

Students work are assessed based on a marking rubric that is given out with the assessment task. My standards include:
1. Does it capture and maintain audience attention?
2. Is it something new and original?
3. To what extend does it inspire other learners?

Michelle Mondragon

Posted on 12/31/14 10:33:34 PM Permalink

Much of what I teach is dry and technically based (digital workflow management, organizing and cataloging imagery and basic editing). The goal being to build a foundation from which they work from that will free up valuable time and enable them to become more creative in making beautiful photographs.

I compare it to a carpenter needing to know math and how to use his tools to create a beautiful piece of woodwork. Many of my students want to jump right in and make their images look “cool”. I have to slow them down and convince them the need for organization and consistency.

So I first must address how they accomplished the technical aspects of a project before I speak to how creative the actual images are.

So if a student masters the organizational part of things but the image is somewhat boring I let them know that structurally they’ve got it, now how can you make it interesting?

If a student has an outstanding image but no one but them can get to it to open it I emphasize their creativity in the picture taking process but address the need for consistency in organization if they ever want anyone to actually see it. I help them come up with a workflow that makes sense to them and that they can maintain and grow with.

Jessica Gauci

Posted on 12/7/14 9:46:18 PM Permalink

Student feedback of their own project, process, my teaching, the topic, content, peer feedback, discussions. Most importantly, I assess individual progress and processes.

cathy De Alba-Velasquez

Posted on 12/7/14 7:47:48 PM Permalink

My students and I create rubrics together. I tell them what standard I'm trying to teach them so that they know what I expect them to learn. I then list three important things: the project has to be meaningful and relevant, they have choice as to what they will use to solve and present, and finally show mastery of the content.

Sue Marron

Posted on 12/5/14 6:00:38 AM Permalink

After an assignment, I have students assess their own creativity by answering the following questions:

What motivated you to complete this assignment?

What was your favorite part about this assignment?

If you could change one thing about this assignment to make it better, what would you change?

What grade would you give yourself on this assignment and why?

If you could do this assignment again, what would you do differently next time?

Yone Santos

Posted on 9/30/14 5:32:08 PM Permalink

My standards are based on originality, which, as I see it, is related to the knowledge one has of the world. Therefore, I've taken into consideration students’ age as well. As for the descriptions, as I teach English, I’ve also taken into account their language level. It basically follows the descriptions below:

Very creative: You’ve created something really different.

Creative: You’re in the right direction and I believe you can do better.

In need of improvement: You need to set your imagination free.

Jason Webb

Posted on 9/17/14 1:47:37 PM Permalink

I went through and looked at a bunch of my rubrics I use for Film Production and realized I would have very detailed evaluations for the technical aspects of projects and then I looked at the one column for Creativity and realized I only wrote one line for each level stating that the project was either Very Creative, Creative, Needs Work, or No Creativity. After reading everything in this PD and reflecting, I have seriously done a disservice to my kids. To atone for my nativity, I would like to start assessing creativity by looking at:

  • did the student(s) brainstorm as many ideas as possible
  • did the student(s) use resources not available to them in a the normal setting (i.e.: did they look outside the "box" for ideas)
  • did the student(s) draw upon other ideas/techniques to create their project
  • did the student(s) try something new for them (new theme, new technique unrelated to project)
  • were the student(s) innovative? (Did they take the concept/project and make it their own?)
Any others?

tannizia anthony

Posted on 8/28/14 4:26:26 PM Permalink

I used inspiration as a way to measure creativity by asking whether the project was able to Touch Move and Inspire (TMI). My standard:

In this our life-cycle creativity is in each of us so Touch Move and Inspire (TMI) to make it known.


Posted on 8/28/14 8:02:52 AM Permalink


Barbara Swanner

Posted on 8/27/14 7:14:49 PM Permalink

After a piece is graded for meeting the concrete requirements (has a leading line, is hand-colored, etc) we hold a class critique and at the end, after all student comments are made, I make comments to the student or the entire group of students and I comment on the creativity of each piece. In photography class for example, in this part of the critique I don't care if the photo meets the concrete requirements, but does the photograph have a voice, does it evoke an emotion, does it hold my interest, does it make me think about something - an emotion, a place, an event? Does it make me wonder "how did they do that?" or Why did they do that?, or Wow, I want to do that! The students are sometimes surprised at my suggestions and choices, make sure that I find something in all the work that may not have been mentioned, throwing out what ifs as I go from piece to piece. (What if you broke a rule and cropped this here? Toned it differently there? Laid on your stomach and shot it this way?), this type of creativity assessment has really made my students good at tapping into their creativity, and using it. We make this event a big deal, they bring their chairs out to the hall where the work is and sit there all period ,talking about the work, the kids love it and if miss a week, they are upset.

Katherine Yamashita

Posted on 8/22/14 2:25:27 AM Permalink

These are my look fors:

  • evidence of brainstorming or think-tanking a number of possible paths - a sense of play (doodles, mind maps, thumbnails, notes)
  • research on on what has been done before - (what worked and what did not and why?)
  • A whole series of what if scenarios (sometimes they can be written on cue cards and stored in case they can be acted on later)
  • some decisions about steps to take to solve the problem (a plan of action)
  • trials or the creation of prototypes (the actual doing, making, writing, creating)
  • the testing and revision of the trials and prototypes ( analysis, sharing, presentation)
  • the analysis of product for further innovation. (next steps)

Ryan Patton

Posted on 8/14/14 4:03:06 PM Permalink

My standards on the creative "product" are very subjective and open. I try not to limit the kids expression and judge items and instead let other kids judge their products (anonymously). This gives them peer feedback. However, adult/teacher feedback is very important because we are the leaders and supervisors of their efforts in deploying to the professional spectrum. With that said, I have a panel of teachers and industry experts offer feedback based upon a list of certain key items that can review in a qualitative sense. My standards on the creative "process" however are highly objective and quantitative. I measure the kids project management skills, professionalism, timeliness, teamwork, and communication skills. This is stored on an analytic rubric that I use as an observer to take note of deviations from these professional skills during their creation process. These grades are used as a formative and evolve into a summative over a period of time.

Diana Bidulescu

Posted on 8/11/14 2:49:20 AM Permalink

My standards are a fun way to always remember to consider creativity in any approach: "something old (pre-existent example to relate to), something new (a new perspective on things, a different approach, another set of tools to explore the topic with), something borrowed (researched ideas that convey the message the learner wants to send - supporting evidence), something "true" (a real-life application of the project in their own universe)

Candie Witherspoon

Posted on 8/6/14 4:32:01 AM Permalink

I would assess during the creative process to see where they are coming from (where did their ideas originate) and where they are going (what outcome are they trying to achieve in the end). Have they extended the project beyond the basic requirements? Does their project show originality, emotion, personal experience, unique qualities or approaches to common topics or issues? Did they show an attempt at a different approach or solution to the options presented or taught? Does it make their viewer's say "Wow! That's cool."? Is their project innovative?

Jody Campbell

Posted on 8/3/14 1:58:55 PM Permalink

I'm not in this workshop but wanted to weigh in, creativity is subjective beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. With this in mind I start with what can be qualified in student work. I teach graphic design and so when gauging student work I look at things like the a understanding of fundamentals...does the work show a understanding of the principles and elements of design? Is there balance, is there rhythm, is there a intuitive hierarchy emphasis, is the message clear, is the student focused on access/readability, etc.? This helps me remove my own sense of style and aesthetics when applying standards.

Bhuvana Sriram

Posted on 8/3/14 9:35:06 AM Permalink

I will assess the creativity by seeing , how different the project is?, is it inspiring and attracting the audience? and will make others to think about it?.

Jody Chapel

Posted on 7/20/14 5:43:57 PM Permalink

I don't think I have ever written these down in this way nor would I word them in this way for students. Some variation of some of these show up on various rubrics (I have tried so many different kinds), but when I stopped to think about it, these are the aspects about creativity that I most often stress:

· Students should incorporate a wide variety of research, influences and inspirations and then make connections to their own-art making.

· Students should go beyond their first artistic solution.

· Students should consider variations.

· Students should work with ideas. Techniques should support ideas.

· Students should work to engage their viewers.

· Students should strive to make their work as original as possible.

Benjamin Quansah

Posted on 7/16/14 11:23:38 AM Permalink

As an LMS instructional designer for my P-12 cohorts outside school hours digital learning, my creativity standards are age specific. My creativity standards for primary has the key phrase "Do something new" whiles that for High School cohorts has the phrase "Always Innovate".

Formative Assessment and feedback is one prime objective in my standards with rubric commending (not grading) 'Variety of ideas', 'Variety of sources', 'Combining ideas' and 'Doing something new'. The feedback from this assessment enables my cohorts to better their outcomes whether they are Ordinary, Creative or very creative in their work.

Valery Keibler

Posted on 7/14/14 4:25:49 PM Permalink

This was a good exercise. I realize I have only one part of my assessment rubric that addresses creativity, and that is not enough to help others reflect on their creative process. Here are new rubric components that I will add for the students to self-reflect. These are based on fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration.

1. Have you thought about a variety of ideas which you create with the skills learned in this lesson?

2. What connections can you make between old and new ideas you have using the skills learned in this lesson?

3. What new ideas did you have while working on this lesson?

4. Can you use the skills you developed to take your new ideas to completion? If not, what other skills do you need to develop?

Frank Vandenburg

Posted on 7/13/14 5:16:57 AM Permalink

My assessment standards for creativity include:

  1. Does the planning of the project indicate viewing the challenge from multiple perspectives?
  2. Does the planning of the project demonstrate seeing multiple ways to create output?
  3. Does the planning and implementation of the project demonstrate the combination of disparate elements into the final output
  4. Does the planning of the project demonstrate using different terms and conceptual frameworks to describe the final outcome and comparing the results to determine the implementation plan?
  5. Does the implementation of the project demonstrate drawing on a wide variety of sources of information?
  6. Does the implementation of the project demonstration the selection and use of a variety of media to communicate the final outcome?

Tyler Brandt

Posted on 7/7/14 8:44:23 PM Permalink

One of my creativity standards is asking whether or not the outcomes have tangible uses, or cause myself and others to rethink my views/beliefs.

Naomi Cornette

Posted on 6/12/14 12:42:11 AM Permalink

I try to assess creativity through inspiration, did it inspire me? How was it different and did it get the audience's attention?

Stephanie Davidson

Posted on 2/16/14 8:36:49 PM Permalink

Assessment is a subjective for several reasons. One, not all students are capable of understanding broad instructions. So, after instructions are given, such as "to produce an original digital image", more specifications will be introduced as needed and examples shown. When students are working, more instructions/suggestions may be needed. The outcome should be assessed as to what primary purposes or individual techniques used rather than the actual "wonderful" image produced.

Phyllis Kaupp Seas

Posted on 9/5/13 6:47:01 PM Permalink

To assess Creativity, is the project / activity results new, different, but relate-able to the objectives and parameters set forth?

Does the project / activity results show innovative thinking from a personal viewpoint ?

How did the project / activity results connect unrelated things in a fresh manner to show uniqueness?

Belinda Caulfield

Posted on 8/9/13 1:40:16 PM Permalink

I try to measure staff creativity with the following:

Engage - does your lesson/resource engage the learner?

Enrich - does your lesson/resource enrich the learners experience?

Inspire - does your lesson/resource inspire the learner to want to learn or even turn up for class?

Interact - does your lesson/resource encourage interaction from the learner and allow interaction with other learners?

Interesting - is the content interesting and enable creativity in the classroom?

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 8/8/13 1:32:11 PM Permalink

When we measure student creativity on a rubric, we use the following definition: Through extensive research & brainstorming, the student brings creates a project that is unique, innovative & original. Ideas are explored through uncommon imagery. The artwork is unique & highly personalized.

Then, we rate that definition with a score of zero through four. This varies from project to project, but here are the rubric qualifications for a zero through four in a logo unit that I do. Some of the definitions on here require scaffolding during instruction. Thus, some words may seem a bit strange out of context (such as "schema"):


Totally unique design. No letters or symbols are copied from existing logos or fonts. The logo goes beyond an illustration of interests & conveys the abstract values of the student. Visual clichés & schema are avoided.


May have some common imagery w/o much variation - may lack a symbol or lettering, may not be very personalized. May be too reliant on cliché or schematic symbol.


Schematic symbol w/ minimal addition or variation. Font may be overly simple w/ little or no personalization.


Little done to vary from existing symbols, schema, or typefaces.

Imelda Hernández

Posted on 8/8/13 12:29:44 AM Permalink

Medir el trabajo de los estudiantes a partir de criterios claros y específicos es una de las actividades más dificiles en la evaluación de un proceso creativo. La rúbrica representa la mejor alternativa para evaluar de una manera objetiva el trabajo desarrollado por el estudiante. Sin embargo para el profesor representa una labor más compleja porque la mayoría de las veces será necesario diseñar una rúbrica diferente para cada actividad.

Measuring student work from clear and specific criteria is one of the most difficult activities in the evaluation of a creative process. The asset represents the best alternative for an objective assessment of the work done by the student. However, for the teacher is a more complex task because most of the time will be necessary to design a separate heading for each activity.

marcia blanco

Posted on 5/26/13 12:19:52 AM Permalink

Where is this workshop on assessing creativity? I'm still at that tenuous and subjective level of knowing it when I see it, but it's tough to standardize. Where is this class?

Adobe Education

Posted on 6/7/13 5:22:40 AM Permalink

Hi Marcia,

It's a workshop in the Professional Development section of the Exchange. I linked it here and it's also linked above. You can start it anytime. There's also another workshop called Exploring Creativity in Today's Classrooms.


~Adobe Education