Meredith Blache

How are you promoting creativity in your classroom

I know most of you are teaching Creativity tools, but what are you doing to promote individual creativity within your classroom? How are you helping your students to be individuals within a project/assignment? 

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Laura Schlatter

Posted on 3/4/20 6:06:16 PM Permalink

​I promote creativity in my beginning Illustrator course by teaching students to play. This is the best way to learn and start the creative process. I also teach students that they need to think before they go to the computer. I stress that not having a plan before opening Adobe makes it harder to be creative because you are working more technically than creative.

Jason Lachance

Posted on 8/13/19 6:43:40 AM Permalink

The graphic design program I am part of is all about creativity so I try to focus more on team building skills. By creating team projects my student learn necessary soft skills in order to achieve their goals. They all get a chance to be team leaders and as a group we critique work in progress and final outcomes in a positive and encouraging environment.

Amanda Beausoleil

Posted on 7/30/19 8:56:28 PM Permalink

​In my graphic Design class, I have multiple projects to focus on their own ideas. The class designs a personal logo where they turn their names and interests into a graphic representation. They also design currency from a country of their heritage. When design process are complete we review them in class. They get to share a little about themselves and we get to learn about them!

Jan Michael Garcia

Posted on 7/25/19 11:29:07 AM Permalink

​I promote creativity by doing small group discussions. I found that doing small groups allows each student to come up with their own ideas, learn from their peers and hitchhike on their peers ideas. I use a set of questions which I alter based on the flow of the discussion. I give students various problems to resolve without allowing them to use any online information. Allowing them to search on Google is more likely to get them to follow the readily available solutions online.

Carly Manhart

Posted on 3/23/19 5:44:57 AM Permalink

​I believe in the saying "Mistakes are proof that you are TRYING." I emphasize this SO MUCH. I tell all of the students in my beginning courses "None of you will be be professional _______ (graphic designers, videographers, photographers, web designers) by the end of this course. But you will ALL be creative scientists. You will conduct experiments that will answer more questions and teach you more than I can ever teach you by doing an in class demo. If you can PROVE to me that you are EXPERIMENTING, you cannot possibly fail this course. You cannot possibly leave without learning something. You cannot possibly finish this course without brand new ideas and ways to look at the world. This is where it all begins." I want my students to know that trying new things on your own IS CREATIVITY. Failing is LEARNING. Combine both creativity and learning and you have the perfect classroom.

Barbara Lenormand

Posted on 12/30/18 5:44:09 PM Permalink

Right now, in my Language Arts I am having my students create a superhero comic.​ Lots are using Photoshop to create their project. The cintiq tablets are a great tool to complement the use of Photoshop.

Krysia Jeffries

Posted on 10/30/18 7:33:49 AM Permalink

I usually have the students create their own storyboards, and then encourage them to bring their ideas to the table when they are placed into teams. I find that it gives each student responsibility, a creative outlet, and a way for me as an assessor to quantify effort when marking.​

Kevin Cummins

Posted on 10/23/18 3:15:50 AM Permalink

We have been using design thinking as a process to come up with fresh and new ideas. Early days for now, but time will tell.

Jenifer Webster

Posted on 8/17/18 7:09:27 PM Permalink

​As a librarian I encourage students to read books that get them out of their comfort zone. I encourage them to try a genre they haven't tried before or go up a level when reading.

Avonn Nova

Posted on 8/16/18 1:23:14 AM Permalink

​The learning environment should also promote creativity.

Romeo Jr Catap

Posted on 8/15/18 5:18:47 PM Permalink

Teaching in an outcomes-based institution for a product design course, we bank a lot on the outputs per session, and an agreed project for a number of weeks. We usually show the intended outcomes (for example, design a contemporary chair using just a sheet of corrugated board), and then I just teach them techniques, inspirations, and then let them explore on their own. I make sure I equip them with all possible tools and styles explored in the industry and by organic inspirations, and them let them do the dirty work.

​Also one thing, I encourage them to fail within the process. Fail fast, so they can learn fast.​

​Gives them enough time to learn from their mistakes and they usually end up appreciating their projects with more ownership knowing they worked hard on it with the leeway our course outcomes give them. Basically I act as an enabler, inspiration, and facilitator only. I

Dan Ross

Posted on 2/14/18 3:22:57 AM Permalink

I tend to give them projects that are pre-determined at first and then give them an option of projects to take on their own. That way, they can absorb the information to help succeed and then they can blossom on their own.​


Posted on 12/14/17 3:23:54 PM Permalink

​As a new teacher, that is my desire, but I don't always know how to retrain the thinking. Students often want exact instructions needed to get a good grade. They don't always know they want to be creative YET. My vision is for our students to take a bigger role in the marketing for our school. I like the idea of making my photoshop and illustrator classes more project based, than how they were done in the past.

Rebecca DeWeese

Posted on 6/6/17 9:32:21 PM Permalink

Personally, I try to approach my class from more of a creative perspective than a technical one. I blend physical materials with digital materials so that the artists' hand is always present in the work. When I give assignments, I try to keep them open to interpretation and offer many possible solutions. I also always have students use real world applications when possible so that they are designing and creating for a purpose. We talk about practical and functional as well as artistic design working together and about role the ethics of design play in social justice.

Angela Demeree

Posted on 8/5/16 12:42:35 PM Permalink

I currently have students design brochures/pamphlets either promoting an event or providing information from research, using Microsoft Publisher. I have never used Adobe Software. Or they may design PowerPoint Presentations on topics related to our unit of study.....Budgeting, Investing, Banking, Payroll, Taxes, etc. But without prior knowledge, they have difficulty being creative in some content areas. I'm looking for more creative ways to get them engaged!

Paula Borsetti

Posted on 7/10/16 4:58:40 PM Permalink

I teach art and digital imaging. We have been using Photoshop and a little Illustrator. Next year we are going to the CC and students will be working on a design company. Students create their own individual learning plan project so they are engaged in what they are creating. This year they compiled all their work on Adobe spark to share with the rest of the class.

Sylvan Adams

Posted on 5/25/16 10:37:41 PM Permalink

I am enjoying mixing "hands-on-get-dirty with materials" and digital art apps.....each experience informs the other.... so we work back and forth on projects...the tablet becomes a tool as well as a medium.

Marybeth Vetter Purcell

Posted on 5/9/16 4:26:16 PM Permalink

I am not currently using Adobe products as a music teacher, but I am looking for ways to use them. My students currently write their own songs and record assignments using MusicFirst Classroom, Noteflight, and audio recorder apps.

daniel Mullings

Posted on 4/11/16 10:28:18 AM Permalink

I give the students opportunity for group works around a number of app and they chose as a group what they would like to do and discuss any changes within the group dynamic or problem issues in order to produce a finished piece.

Mia Ruyter

Posted on 2/7/16 5:28:36 PM Permalink

I am empowering students by using software and technology to encourage them to express themselves and reflect on social justice issues.

Teri Samo

Posted on 2/2/16 8:42:44 PM Permalink

I offer Team projects where they must brainstorm their ideas to get started. Amazing the projects they develop.


Posted on 2/1/16 5:22:18 PM Permalink

I have stepped out of the classroom for a while, but I was a math teacher for many years. I'd say that I was promoting individual creativity mostly through problem solving students a meaningful situation and encouraging them to use their own experiences and ideas to find methods of solving.

Carleather Ponder

Posted on 12/11/15 8:21:00 PM Permalink

I am promoting creativity in the classroom but having students design and create using strictly adobe products for the classroom and other teachers and clubs on campus. We are working strictly on techniques this year.

Bethany Dutton

Posted on 8/11/15 10:54:29 AM Permalink

Went to a presentation at the ATOM QLD conference where Professor Doe Mayer did a great presentation on creativity in films where she had heaps of ideas to encourage creativity. The one I have applied with my year 10 film students is creativity a visual diary where they record their inspirations on a daily basis

Larissa Warren

Posted on 8/11/15 9:38:33 AM Permalink

This is how my art classes approach their folios of work- to answer the question directly, I believe the reflection stage is integral to encouraging students in presenting ideas and concepts which are meaningful and personal to them.

Research and explore (artworks, artists, themes, contexts), develop and experiment with ideas, styles, media and artworks, present artworks, ideas and concepts and reflect on processes, techniques, audience reactions, problem solving and future applications. These 4 stages should be seen as a continuing circle not a one way journey.

Shane Skillen

Posted on 7/24/15 5:19:34 AM Permalink

I find scaffolding their process through a design thinking methodology and keeping them well versed in each of the stages (Discovery/Interpretation/Ideation/Exploration/Evolution) Of course there are lots of Design thinking models. But this works as an anchor to hold them in stage and develop specific skills within each phase to extrapolate their ideas and keep them in the creative mind set.

Christianne Jones

Posted on 7/24/15 2:28:27 AM Permalink

My classes are a mixture of international students and more mature individuals seeking a career change. I generally create teams of students with varied backgrounds, ages, English language skills, and special talents and encourage them to create the project together. In the classroom, I give them the foundation of the subject matter with powerpoint, videos, personal stories and student interaction. I am frequently "blown away" by the the students' creativity and the final product they produce when they are given the freedom to let their minds be creative.

Paul Dronka

Posted on 7/23/15 2:55:25 PM Permalink

I teach working adults - after 52 Years in the Work Force - I focus on building analytical skills that I use in hiring and promoting high value employees. I look for problem solvers, but, those that can use analytical tools in modeling business practices - using tools such as; trending, matrix analysis, decision tree, fish bone, +/-, force fields, etc.. in streamlining processes in the development of creative solutions - are the "Fast Trackers". This takes a high degree of creativity because the focus is on the end state in addressing all the contributing factors in facilitating success through meaningful metrics. I believe in applied training so I encourage the use of real work related issues - in classroom discussions/workshops.

Jennifer Taylor

Posted on 4/22/15 11:13:52 PM Permalink

Currently I try to offer a variety of tools and and simple projects to get them thinking and using programs and then offer an opportunity to apply these tools in a more open ended project.

David Conover

Posted on 2/20/15 2:49:04 PM Permalink

I have my students take on roles that they see themselves doing as a career. They role play as they collaborate, design and make the project/assignment. Good question.

Ruben Brito

Posted on 2/19/15 9:54:17 PM Permalink

To start off, I am not a teacher, but if I was to promote creativity it would be through visuals. What ever subject is being taught, show some of the best and worst projects for the subject. I wouldn't put to much restrictions but I would still have them stick to the criteria and to remain focused on the subject matter.

Mats Soderberg

Posted on 9/10/14 11:00:08 PM Permalink

When I promote creativity in the class I give them time, time and time.Sometimes a brainstorm is good to get them up and starting with their project. I also tell them that there are no right or wrong when you working in a creative way

marcia blanco

Posted on 9/10/14 3:01:55 PM Permalink

Jeremiah Baumann

Posted on 9/9/14 5:14:04 PM Permalink

My goal was to create a creatively inviting space. We used colored LED lighting so that my students could truly customize their spaces to their moods, likes, and generally the condition they want to work in. It was a cheap solution that really transformed our room into something that inspires and welcomes full creativity.

marcia blanco

Posted on 9/10/14 3:04:01 PM Permalink

Hi Jeremiah! What a cool idea! are the workstations separated by cubicle walls or together? Are the lights overhead or in "desk lamps"?Can you post an image of that? I'd like to steal it if I may, but I can't envision it just yet.


Timothy Allen

Posted on 9/8/14 4:33:24 PM Permalink

Each unit, I teach specific tools and design elements. The students will all complete a "practice" design to demonstrate their understanding of the taught skills. Then, they must create 2-3 designs of their own that are different from each other. They are allowed time for research, sketching, and experimenting in addition to completing the designs.

Eric Labonté

Posted on 9/5/14 2:24:36 AM Permalink

When I start a new project with students, I will often give them a general theme for the whole class. The project will need some key elements that were taught in class in order to make sure they have learned some of the basic principles. But it's up to them to go with their own idea on the given theme. For example, my first video editing project of the year has the theme "The first day back to school". Some will take the student perspective, others will take a teacher's perspective or maybe even a parent's perspective to the day. Some students will make it a comedy, others a horror. It's up to them to decide!

John Hull

Posted on 7/1/14 6:43:57 PM Permalink

When I assign video or audio projects, I try to offer guidelines and goals for the students to obtain. How they get there is up to them. Many times they collaborate with others, sometimes they work on their own. The idea is that I don't do any handholding. I also like to show what has been turned in over the past couple years so they can see what others have done with the project at hand. That many times spurs ideas in students and they proceed from there.

Jenifer Pickens

Posted on 6/9/14 5:31:23 PM Permalink

The biggest way I promote creativity is giving students a time and a space to get creative.

I run our schools library, which I have tried to make a special place.

Not only do I have the traditional places you would typically find in a library: Manga, Graphic Novels, arts specific directional books in everything from cooking to beading, but also art work displays, a creative table, with butcher paper for kids to drawl on and all the resources they need to get creative like markers, pens, crayons, etc.

We have pods for working on projects, and try to open our lab time not just to typing and research, but some creative projects too.

Damien Soukhavong

Posted on 5/25/14 9:43:09 PM Permalink

I always try to give the students to have the course they have "their way" (even if in theory that's not possible due to constraints) :
- Ask them what they want to see as examples: for instance, if that's a pig they want in a creative software, I'll do something with a pig in the creative software (great motivating way)
- Ask them what they want to see at exam: apply what I said before (motivates them much better BEFORE and IN-exam)
- Give them freedom on exercises, but not too much: Ask them their objectives. Refer to your own objectives (the constraints, and have priority over theirs). If they do what they want to do (of course, not yelling at each other, sleeping, or disturbing...), they motivate themselves by doing the exercise. But you do lose a lot of time, so get ready to use your general culture to find anecdotes that captivate them!
- Ask them projects. Several projects, "without" deadline (they'll ask when it happens anyway). Without any subject (well, at least in the core area of the course, ask for verification), or from a list. They'll feel free, of doing anything that please them. Motivation!

The main condition is this one: they are able to sustain themselves their work. If they don't know how to work (and I've seen a lot of such cases, maybe 10% of my students), they'll do everything on the eve and never do things in time! (projects, failed exams) - As a Chartered Accounting teacher, it doesn't apply to those students, but to those I have in an another school where students are volunteer to follow the course. I don't know how hard it would be in a mandatory classroom (although mines become mandatory if they show up during the first course).

Dawnette Brenner

Posted on 5/24/14 8:50:34 PM Permalink

The most important factor for me to spark students creativity is to give them exposure and teach them about a variety of mediums to express themselves: videos, online sites to design, digital presentations etc. Once they are exposed and played around with these tools, they can pick and choose which to use to show off their creative sides. Of course the directions are limited, which frustrates them at first, but once they are ready to move on they turn in rather creative projects!

Dena Wilson

Posted on 5/23/14 5:42:59 PM Permalink

I promote creativity several, not over-explaining the assignment to the point I am telling them how to do it or how I would do it. I would certainly rather frustrate them with too little information than too much. Also I have my walls covered with student work for inspiration. I will always show several examples of whatever it is.Or they can research for ideas - however, they can't only use them for reference not do that exactly! And then finally, I play classic rock music! ha! (Okay, not sure that is a bonafide method, but it does work out nice for me!)

Carmen Fisher

Posted on 5/23/14 7:40:54 AM Permalink

I am a vocational hospitality trainer in Queensland and I try and foster creativity in the students practical classes, however I know I could benefit from learning and applying more creativity tools.

Greg Mayer

Posted on 4/15/14 11:39:17 PM Permalink

I promote creativity, by allowing my students to complete a project ow they want. I may assign and give a general rubric of what I am looking for, but how they do it and what they do to the project in particular is their choice.

Ahmed Ali Moselhi

Posted on 1/22/14 9:40:32 PM Permalink

You really need a virtual environment to start foster your student to unleash their creativity, student has a seat waiting for your instruction to go through a unique and creative piece of art.

Ask questions and rephrase your requirements in your mind to surprise your student with an interesting task makes them enthusiastic.

Monitor their activities and start brainstorming with some of tips, tricks and flashed inspirations. Give advise to correct some of directions, Share their art and ask them to critic with improvement of elimination and refinement.

Lacey Hale

Posted on 11/11/13 5:39:02 PM Permalink

I am encouraging my students to be creative by giving them the tools to create with (Photoshop, Flash, Premiere, In Design, etc.), and assigning projects that have a main focus, but allow for original editing and manipulation. For instance, I will assign them to photograph and create a collage of images on a particular subject. Where they place them, as well as the effects and blending modes they use is totally up to them.

Imelda Hernández

Posted on 11/5/13 7:12:20 PM Permalink

Hi, I´m Ime Hernández from México.

To promote individual creativity within the classroom, I designed a series of activities from the description of a case.
For example: the student will create a visual identity for a cultural festival. As a teacher explained to the students the objectives and design guideline.
Each student makes a proposal that is evaluated by their peers. Students receive feedback and make the necessary adjustments in their work. Usually the results are positive, because students strive to design the best proposal.

Ian Fairhurst

Posted on 10/16/13 11:34:42 PM Permalink

Hi I'm Ian Fairhurst from Sydney, Australia.

I would say that I am helping students develop creativity in the classroom by identifying my student's interests and let that drive the focus of their learning. Ultimately each student in your care is an individual with individual interests, of course their will be trends amongst a group or generation and this is where project based learning (individual and working in groups) can play a part in focusing your students, yet still allowing them to identify and nurture their own strengths and areas for improvement. @Adobe @adobeedu #CreateNowEdu

Karen Brown

Posted on 10/14/13 4:44:47 PM Permalink

Hello, I'm Karen Brown form Selma,AL. I teach at a community college for technical and academic students attend to get their foundation classes. I encourage the students to collaborate with each other using technology. The school is adopting the use of rubrics to assist in becoming a more writing centered college, so as I learn about rubrics the students learn about rubrics.

CarolJane Person

Posted on 9/29/13 6:36:29 PM Permalink

I'm Carolyn Person from Baton Rouge, LA. I teach in higher education in both our undergraduate and graduate programs. I use the case study method of teaching in allied health. To promote creativity students develop what I call "ClinicBooks". These are actually Adobe portfolios with multimedia. It takes a long time during the semester to produce them. If I used all Adobe products we would move much faster. My goal is to learn how to use Photoshop, Acrobat, Illustrator, etc. to pre-prepare the ClinicBooks so that students will be able to work faster and more efficiently.

Jamie Toivonen

Posted on 9/26/13 5:12:52 PM Permalink

Hi! I am Jamie Toivonen from a little town in Montana. I try and foster creativity by first teaching my students how to use the programs we are learning. Once we complete this step, I allow them to come up with their own projects. I find that when decide how they want to proceed with the topics they want to delve into it often times is way more complex than something I would have assignment.

Lauren Ernst

Posted on 9/25/13 1:02:55 PM Permalink

Hi! I am Lauren Ernst & I teach high school photography & graphic design. I am in LOVE with my job & I am always striving to make my students classroom experiences, engaging, fun & rewarding. Today we are FINALLY going to open PS for the first time & learn about adjustment layers to edit images. The students have complete creative freedom in how they apply those layer changes to their images as long as they can intelligently discuss their purpose for doing so!

christopher A. Kimble

Posted on 9/3/13 8:20:57 PM Permalink

I try and let them create the rubric as much as possible at the beginning of an assignment so I don't box anyone in if possible.

Genevieve Bennett

Posted on 8/29/13 5:36:30 PM Permalink

I use projects that have to meet certain standards (use certain tools or effects) and then leave the content up to the student.

Kristin McGlothen

Posted on 8/29/13 4:10:36 PM Permalink

I teach a digitial photography class at the high school level. Along with our daily PScs5 tutorials, weekly 'themed' photo shoot assignments allow students to take images that are appealing to them rather than setting a specific shoot subject each week. I have gotten some great creative twists on themes provided. I have assigned 'freshmen & birds' this week. They asked if they could shoot freshmen pretending to be birds. My reply was yes, but it only counted as one of the themes. ;-) Once they have their shots, they bring them back to PS and edit them using the techniques we have learned that week. At the end of the quarter we will revisit their contact sheet and find images that can be edited and published into a final project book highlighting their individual creative flow for the term.

Matthew Corkum

Posted on 8/29/13 3:54:39 PM Permalink

We start the year with a 3-day project. We have upwards of 70 students in two blocks. They are put into small groups the first day and tasked with creating an identity for their block (rather than us call them A and B all year).

By noon on the third day, they have to create a presentation to sell their idea to the rest of the class, including a Keynote or PowerPoint, a video, a piece of audio, photos, and a poster they have to print and display on the wall.

The make lasting friendships, they let their imaginations and creativity run wild, and they surpass all expectations with what they accomplish in 2.5 days.

Brian Dawson

Posted on 8/17/13 10:00:24 AM Permalink

In teaching science concepts, I use project based learning with Flash/Edge with students so that they may create unique, individually creative animations that show mastery of the science concepts being taught (

Middle school students are keen to creative tools and using them in the core curricular areas is something we all should strive for. This is the beginning of the Education Revolution and you're leading the way. Well done.

Eleonora González

Posted on 7/31/13 1:35:50 AM Permalink

Hello, I work in Uruguay with teenagers, they learn illustrator, dreamweaver and office package essentially. I understand that my creativity should not influence the creativity of my students, so the technique that gives me good result is:
Example Illustrator:

  • Divide the work into lessons, with a design to make.
  • Teaching tools are expected to use for the design, using a projector showing where they are and how they must to be used, invite them to practice using these tools in small examples.
  • Show several finished designs that meet the objectives but are different from each other
  • Invite them to make their own design knowing the tools and the basic design requirements to be performed.

Naturally students who have little desire or creativity are copying one of the models, and those who are motivated give us nice surprises. Anyway, the goal is to learn new tools, and make a design by themselves.

These creativity and motivation issues are interesting for me, at times is not easy to get students engaged with their learning.


marcia blanco

Posted on 7/30/13 4:35:01 AM Permalink

I agree with Dan. The first thing that you need to establish is safety and trust. They need to trust you as well as each other. I also spend time (because I have the luxury of having them for 10hours/week for two years) playing. We do odyssey of the mind games, collaborative drawing and silly, kind of quick art projects and photography projects that I don't bother to assess. We just look and laugh. I watch my students (who for the most part come into the program thinking in a single straight line) start to really flex in the directions they take problem solving and designing. It's why I do this job.

I find it helps to feed them, too. On Mondays, I bring in bagels, cheese sticks and apples and we have our weekly meeting to go over expectations and issues. It fosters a family kind of feel. I can get a lot out of them when their stomachs are full.

As far as assessment, that is something I've been struggling with. However, under the professional development tab in AEE, there is a nifty group of workshops on developing and assessing creativity. Also, Aaron Roberts has a great discussion thread called "Critique my rubric." I went in to critique it and ended up just downloading it. You may find that really helpful.

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Dan Armstrong

Posted on 7/30/13 7:04:03 AM Permalink

Odyssey of the Mind! I has been a while since I thought about that one, Great idea!

Dan Armstrong

Posted on 7/29/13 5:41:59 PM Permalink

I make sure that they understand that there is no wrong answer early on. It has to be a safe place so that the students understand it's okay to fail. Also I think it is important to show them exemplar work to set a high standard. Set the bar high and they will reach it. Creativity can only be fostered in a safe environment with a teacher that has a vision of what it is possible.

Meredith Blache

Posted on 7/29/13 6:14:44 PM Permalink

How do you grade their work based off creativity? Do you provide a rubric?

Dan Armstrong

Posted on 7/29/13 8:16:10 PM Permalink

Yes a rubric. We use the classroom in a book to teach them step by step, then I let them do the project that is less directed with a rubric. Often their is a contest from Business Professionals of America that I can use for the assessment and this prepares them for the actual contest later in the year.