solved: For this assignment, you will design a Creativity Rubric you can use in your setting and with your s

For this assignment, you will design a Creativity Rubric you can use in your setting and with your students. Follow the steps below to create your rubric:

1.  Think about the definitions of creativity you reviewed in M1, the characteristics of creativity you explored in M2, and the theories and models of creativity you examined in M3. You may also find this article growing creativity helpful.

2.  Select 5 criteria. These can be related to creative characteristics, definitions, or anything else you can use to assess what creativity looks like in student work. For example, your criteria can be FLUENCY OF IDEAS because you want to see how students connect and evaluate ideas between subject areas and the real world. 

3.  Write a description for each criterion. What does it look like for the students to meet the requirements for this criterion? Use appropriate and high-level action verbs (see Bloom’s Taxonomy verbs or Webb’s Depth of Knowledge). For example, for FLUENCY OF IDEAS, the description can be: The student strategically evaluates and incorporates a variety of important concepts and ideas from different contexts, disciplines, subject areas, and/or the real world.

4.  Choose your rating for each description. For this step, think about the type of rubric you will use. 

5.  Provide an explanation and include appropriate research that justifies why your selection of rubric criteria and descriptions is important in creativity development. Make sure to use in-text citations and add references in APA 7 format. For example, FLUENCY OF IDEAS is important to creative development because….(Research, Year). 

use this site for information

10 Learning & Leading with Technology | May 2011

By Candace Hackett Shively

Focusing on fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration skills gives teachers
and students an effective shortcut to developing creativity together.

Grow Creativity!

reativity matters. The world
needs creative thinkers, scien-
tists, engineers, leaders, and

contributing workers. Yet research
repeatedly shows that creativity is
schooled out of us.

A shared vocabulary and lens for
creativity helps teachers and students
know what it means to “be creative”
and where to start. J. P. Guilford’s
FFOE model of divergent thinking
from the 1950s offers four dimensions
to describe creativity:


If you think you don’t have time to
incorporate creativity development
into your curriculum, consider that
FFOE makes time spent on projects
worthwhile because creativity is sup-
ported, deliberate, and meaningful
while still connected to the cur-
riculum. Promoting and analyzing

creativity becomes a simpler matter of
using the terms and involving the stu-
dents, not teaching separate lessons
or developing new materials. In fact,
your student projects may already be
building creativity but may just not
have a vocabulary to talk about it.

Though imagined long before Web
2.0, this model is evergreen, and I
have used it for decades with students
and teachers. The terms are simple
enough to use with students from
kindergarten to AP, as well as with
parents to publicly value and promote
creativity across the curriculum.










Copyright © 2011, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 1.800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 1.541.302.3777 (Int’l), [email protected], All rights reserved.

The first step to problem solving or
any creative endeavor is having as
many ideas as possible to choose from,
play with, research, or evaluate. Fluency
is the ability to generate lots of ideas,
which loosens up the creative wheels.

Brainstorming builds fluency.
There’s just one rule: Make sure
everyone accepts all responses
during brainstorming without argu-
ment. “Yeah, but” kills fluency and

Brainstorm together as a class or
in groups to build fluency by mak-
ing ongoing lists or concept maps.
Talk about creative fluency as you
brainstorm. Brainstorming on a “flu-
ency wall,” which could reside on an

interactive whiteboard (IWB), a wiki
page, or a piece of butcher paper taped
to the actual classroom wall, promotes
longer-term fluency because it allows
students to add more ideas as they
come to them.

Kathy Hrabik of St. Mary’s Catholic
School in Berea, Ohio, suggests us-
ing Wordle word clouds, as her fifth
graders do, to develop fluency while
learning character analysis. Students
first work together to brainstorm
the characteristics of Santa Claus
(or another character) and create a
Wordle as a class, repeating the most
important characteristics in the list so
they appear larger in the word cloud.
The students then create their own
character-analysis word clouds, allow-
ing them to master a literary concept
while building creativity skills.

Here are some fluency prompts to

get the juices flowing in the different
curriculum areas:

Math. Describe ways to see the num-
ber 24 (number sense).

Science. List things that require energy.

Social studies. List things that can
affect an election or the “costs” of
human rights violations.

Reading or language arts. List word
choice options, alternatives to “said,”
or words to describe anguish.

Some technology tools that help
build fluency are, Dabble-
board, Edistorm, Scribblar, Webspira-
tion, and word cloud tools, such as
Tagul, Tagxedo, or Worditout. (See
“Creativity Tools” on page 14.)

May 2011 | Learning & Leading with Technology 11

Copyright © 2011, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 1.800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 1.541.302.3777 (Int’l), [email protected], All rights reserved.

12 Learning & Leading with Technology | May 2011

Flexibility is the ability to look at a
question or topic from a different angle.
You can do this by shifting to an oppos-
ing viewpoint, angle, direction, time,
place, or modality, or by putting your-
self in someone else’s shoes.

Flexibility generates a variety of ideas.
Limiting one’s point of view to a sole
perspective limits possibilities. Flexible
thinkers discover whole new areas of
possibility, including different inter-
pretations of scientific data. Flexibility
also promotes interpersonal and cross-
cultural understanding. Flexibility may
also lead to originality, the most elusive
aspect of creativity.

Library Media Specialist Diane
Darrow at Bel Aire School in Tiburon,
California, often uses technology tools
to build creativity skills. One activity
promotes problem solving as third,
fourth, and fifth graders use fluency
and flexibility to list ways to “stop a
squirrel from eating my peaches.” They
brainstorm varied approaches to the
problem on Wallwisher and then sort
the options. (See the results at www. 

Build flexibility through unexpected
juxtapositions, such as combining dif-
ferent senses, time periods, people,
or places. Try one of these prompts
or generate unusual angles to fit your

Science. List beneficial things about
fossil fuels, how the British view U.S.
reactions to the BP oil spill, or alternate
hypotheses for lab inquiry.

Social studies. Describe how the
Boston Tea Party would sound or
how a tea barrel would retell it.

Language arts. Retell tales from
a different character’s point of view,
debate/advocate from a position you
firmly disagree with, or guess the key
word behind a set of images or terms
to “think backward.”

Art. Look at objects the way a Cubist

Pose a question or situation to
prompt a new angle or position, then
have students take on that point of
view using Blabberize; Bubblr; blogs
and microblogs, such as Twitter or
Edmodo; or chat tools, such as Todays-
meet, comic makers, GlogsterEDU,
or VoiceThread. Stretch mental flex-
ibility with challenges such as Guess
the Google or fastr by Flickr.

Originality is the quality that gener-
ates unique or unusual products, un-
expected ideas, or the first of a kind.
Originality requires the greatest risk-
taking and is the crux of innovation,
yet it is the most fragile dimension of
creativity in school settings oriented
to correct “answers.” Originality is of-
ten disruptive in a school setting, but
disruptive ideas often generate benefi-
cial changes in the wider world.

Donna Benson, a teacher for
gifted high school students, builds


originality into career exploration
projects. Students first analyze their
strengths and talent areas and then
create a technology-based magazine
cover from 25–40 years in the fu-
ture, featuring themselves in the cover
photo. Their accompanying original
magazine article builds on their goals
and career paths and explains the cov-
er photo. “Placing” the students’ ca-
reer thoughts in another time prompts
originality amid serious goal-setting.

Keep in mind that originality is
one facet of creativity that cannot be
forced, only reinforced and publicly
valued in our classrooms. Take time
to say, “Wow! I never thought of that!”
out loud, even if the idea is off the wall.

Originality may emerge from un-
likely juxtapositions, similar to flexibil-
ity prompts. Try shifts in time, place,
role, capabilities, and other senses:

Math. Show 24 as a shape.

Science. Create an illustrated lab re-
port from the point of view of one of
the chemicals or a Glog of the sights
and sounds of a cell’s life.

Social studies. Film a video of the
Boston Tea Party on British YouTube
circa 1773 or a colonist’s “American
Idol” audition in 1763.

Language arts. Make a visual poem
about any topic that angers you, such as
racism, pollution, or cruelty to animals,
for example.

Creating products from scratch builds
originality. Some favorite tools for this
include Blabberize, Bubblr, comic mak-
ers, Dabbleboard, DoInk, GlogsterEDU,
GoAnimate, Queeky, Scrapblog, Scrib-
blar, Tagxedo, Voicethread, Vuvox,
Wallwisher, and Xtranormal.

Build flexibility through unexpected juxtapositions, such as
combining different senses, time periods, people, or places.


Copyright © 2011, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 1.800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 1.541.302.3777 (Int’l), [email protected], All rights reserved.

May 2011 | Learning & Leading with Technology 13

Elaboration involves adding details,
filling in the gaps, embellishing, and
completing a creative idea. It fleshes
out the ideas of working collabora-
tors, carries an idea to fruition, or
adds contextual detail needed to
make something real, understand-
able, or aesthetically pleasing. With-
out elaboration, others would not
see the full potential of a creative

Elaboration is the easiest creative
skill for teacher pleasers who are
comfortable with school reward sys-
tems. Think about it: The poster or
story with the most details (even if
it’s “fluff ”) often earns the highest
grade. In contrast, very bright student
“sponges” who learn for private enjoy-
ment often do not elaborate to oth-
ers unless prompted. In cooperative
groups, elaborators play a process role
worth underscoring: doing the leg-
work to be sure projects are complete.

Use interactive or online white-
boards with student-generated “start-
ers” so students can take turns adding
the next details. Adding detail to a
graphic organizer or variations to a
poetry pattern builds elaboration skill,
as does turning basic drawings and
shapes into detailed works of art.


Other ideas for building elaboration

Math. Explain steps on a poster or
Glog. Decorate 3D shapes to show
their dimensions and characteristics.

Science. Annotate a diagram or im-
age of an insect, plant, cell, etc.

Social studies. Make campaign post-
ers of colonial quotes or Civil War slo-
gans, a poster of community helpers
and their roles, or an annotated map
of a “green” city.

Language arts/reading. Write a
pass-along story or paragraph using
a required list of words. Add figures
of speech to an existing passage.

Music/art. Complete a drawing or
musical phrase. Manipulate “filters”
on digital images.

Any technology tool can elaborate
with detail, depending on the demands
of the project. Some of my favorites are
Blabberize, Bubblr,, Caption-
er, Comic makers, online whiteboards
such as Dabbleboard, Fine Tuna, Glog-
sterEDU, Mr Picassohead, Pixlr, Prezi,
Queeky, Scrapblog, Scribblar, Spell
with Flickr, Stained Glass Collage, Voi-
ceThread, Vuvox, or Webspiration.

Creative Leadership: Skills that Drive Change by Gerard J. puccio, mary murdock, marie


Dimensions of creativity: A model to Analyze student projects (rubrics, idea sharing
for use of FFoE, and more):

“Do You have these 11 traits of highly creative people?” by Dean Rieck, copyblogger
(creativity as a learned behavior):

Thinking, the Expanding Frontier by William maxwell and John christopher Bishop
(Guilford’s model):

“Why creativity Now? A conversation with sir ken Robinson” by Amy Azzam,
Educational Leadership (september 2009):

Copyright © 2011, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 1.800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 1.541.302.3777 (Int’l), [email protected], All rights reserved.

14 Learning & Leading with Technology | May 2011

How to Use FFOE
When you first begin using this
model, ask yourself which FFOE skills
you are promoting in each project
assigned. Take the time to reflect on
your own FFOE strengths to know
why you chose certain activities. You
might be surprised what emerges.

Louise Maine, a high school biology
teacher in Punxsutawney, Pennsylva-
nia, first reacted to my question about
how she develops creativity skills in
her biology classes by saying, “I am not
sure I use creativity in my classroom.
Biology, unfortunately, is so packed

here are some Web-based tools for developing fluency (FL), flexibility (FLX), originality (o),
and elaboration (E):

Blabberize ( FLX o E

Blog tools FLX

Bubblr ( o E ( FL FLX E

Captioner ( E

Comic makers ( FLX o

Dabbleboard ( FL o E

DoInk ( o E

Edistorm ( FL

fastr by Flickr ( FLX

Fine Tuna ( E

GlogsterEDU ( FLX o E

GoAnimate ( o E

Guess the Google

Montage a Google

Mr Picassohead ( E

Pixlr ( E

Queeky ( o E

Scrapblog ( o E

Scribblar ( FL o E

Tagul ( FL FLX

Tagxedo ( FL FLX o

Todaysmeet ( FLX

Twitter ( FLX

Voicethread ( FLX o E

Vuvox ( o E

Webspiration ( FL E

Wordle ( FL FLX

Worditout ( FL FLX

that it is just content.” But a glance at
her class wiki shows that FFOE is pres-
ent in the many projects her students
create and share, such as one that dem-
onstrates understanding of classifica-
tion by designing an organism using
Scratch. (See the assignment at http:// By completing
the required steps, almost as a tem-
plate, students plan (by brainstorming
for fluency) and create (originality), in-
cluding required details (elaboration).

How would Maine’s students benefit
from using the FFOE terms? If certain
students repeatedly get “stuck” with

such projects, taking the metacogni-
tive step of realizing that they need to
exercise more fluency would help give
them somewhere to start. For instance,
a small group could brainstorm.

Plans and projects to support
classroom creativity will vary from
elementary to middle to high school.
At all levels, you want to:

• Use the FFOE terms aloud
• Involve the kids
• Differentiate

It’s easy to use the terms, even in
content-packed secondary classrooms,
such as Maine’s biology class. Use the
words out loud as you and students
build FFOE skills and go about your
usual curriculum. For instance, you
could say, “We’ll brainstorm what we
know and build fluency at the same
time,” “How else could we look at it?
Try some flexible thinking,” “Can you
elaborate on that?” or “Zack, that was
a really original interpretation.”

But you should not be the only one to
use the words. Students will pick up the
terms with some help from you. Ask
them (individually or informally) what
is hardest for them when they must
write a story or essay and what comes
most easily. Try prompting beyond
identical, safe responses to open-ended
questions such as: “Let’s try to look at
this with some flexibility. What would
the Confederates say were the reasons?”

Most important, stop to welcome
any original idea that pops up by saying
something such as: “I never thought of
that possibility. Did any of you? That’s
an original one. Let’s talk about it.”

Eventually, the students will pick
up the terms and the concepts behind
them and—at their developmental
level—use social interaction and meta-
cognition to help themselves when
they get stuck. For instance, Maine’s
biology students could say, “I like your
story, but you need to elaborate on the
details in this part,” or “I can’t think of
an idea for my poster. Can we brain-
storm to help my fluency?”

Copyright © 2011, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 1.800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 1.541.302.3777 (Int’l), [email protected], All rights reserved.

May 2011 | Learning & Leading with Technology 15

Once the students understand and
use the terms, it is time to include
FFOE in project assignments and ru-
brics, but not necessarily for a grade.
As you plan, stop to analyze which
FFOE skills upcoming class projects
and assignments require. No task uses
one FFOE skill in isolation, and the
emphasis for each project can differ
based on student or class needs.

If students understand the terms,
you can involve them in differentiat-
ing. Find out which skills students
struggle with. Ask them what the

hardest and easiest part of a project
was for them. Including FFOE on ru-
brics will help you notice progress and
help students notice their own creativ-
ity. Be sure to demystify for parents
by explaining FFOE and a rationale
for creativity at back-to-school night
and on your class webpage so they will
not be surprised by the rubrics. Share
some creativity resources with more
involved parents.

When you include FFOE in rubrics,
focus only on certain criteria for that
student—such as one strength and
one need—and ignore others on the
rubric. An elementary project rubric
for a plant/animal timeline could
include a flexibility criterion for one
child (a timeline to tell the story from
the point of view of the animal or
plant) and elaboration for another
(a timeline with extra details in both
words and pictures and details to fit in
with the rest of the information). At
the middle school level, students can
negotiate which FFOE areas to include
as a creative strength or need and self-
evaluate these FFOE focus areas.

Individual students can stop and
think about their FFOE skills as part
of self-evaluations on project rubrics.
Including FFOE elements as optional,
ungraded rubric elements is a way for
them to “grow” their creativity skills
and understand that creativity is val-
ued and explainable.

Together, you and your students can
use FFOE to embed creativity in any
subject and any grade. Using Guil-
ford’s model gives both teachers and
students a focused approach to “being
creative” and building skills that last
far beyond a 42-minute class period.

Candace Hackett Shively has
explored creativity and technol-
ogy during many years teaching
in Ohio and Pennsylvania. She
is currently director of K–12
Initiatives at the nonprofit Source

for Learning. She blogs about creativity and teaching
at and will
offer a new creativity presentation at ISTE 2011.


here are a few more ideas for using
the FFoE model to promote creativity
in your classroom:

talk to the students about where your
own creative ideas come from.

provide a real or electronic fluency wall
leading up to projects and a “What
if” graffiti wall for students to pose
curriculum-related questions.

Give “originality points” or salute creative
victories on a class wiki page.

Build gradually to open projects for those
who need support, using templates,
starters, or idea banks, but only for
those who need them.

prompt teacher pleasers and “safe”
thinkers with unusual juxtapositions.

include FFoE terms in rubrics and
in parent conferences for the upper
elementary level and beyond.

At the middle and high school levels,
help kids figure out where and how they
get their best creative ideas. have them
design an ideal creative environment,
perhaps using a tool such as a Glog.

i n n o v a t i o n i s

“Discovering and using

a new pattern of thought

and action to address one

or more existing situations. 

it’s important to realize

that the situations, the

questions, the problem

areas, are not what is

innovative. it’s the use

of a new approach and

perspective leading to

a different action or

assessment that is


—Linda Ballas
Avant Assessment


For more on innovative

learning technologies,

visit the siGiLt wiki at

Copyright © 2011, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 1.800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 1.541.302.3777 (Int’l), [email protected], All rights reserved.

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