Assessing Creativity


This week in CEP 811, we were given a few different articles to read pertaining to the assessment and evaluation of creativity as well as project based learning.  I think a lot of different important points were brought up and it definitely made me reflect on my own assessments I use with my students.  Something Grant Wiggins stated in his blog post was that, “…we recognize creative thinking immediately when we see it – much more so, then, say “organization” in writing or “effective collaboration”(2012).  I found this to be very true, and so began my questioning of why don’t we assess on creativity?  It is something that we can easily see, understand, and determine quickly.

For example in James Gee’s Video on Evaluation and Creativity, he relates video games to assessments.  This is a wonderful comparison and makes complete sense in that kids are drawn to video games because they are given immediate feedback.  Playing video games is constant assessment; you fail and you try again (Gee, 2008).  Gee then goes into describing video games as language that is needed just in time (2008).  He explains that reading the manual before playing the game doesn’t do you any good; you don’t understand it.  Once playing the game and having experience with the language and then going back to the manual, you are able to have a better understanding of the material because you have had experience with the language (Gee, 2008).

Relating this back to maker-inspired lessons, students need to play with the materials, get immediate feedback and work through trial and error in order to understand the materials they are working with.  Once their is an understanding, the language starts flowing and making sense.  The learner has produced more knowledge and in today’s time this is done collaboratively (Gee, 2008).  Prompting your students to then be creative with the maker-inspired lesson, your students are going to produce more creative work because they have had practice learning from trial and error, self-evaluation, and self-assessment of using the tool at hand.

A few questions that I had for myself after reading the blogs and articles were:

  1. Do my activities allow for students to show their creativity?
  2. How would I assess their creativity?
  3. What guidelines (if any) do I need to set for the activities?

In thinking about these questions, I decided that as an educator charged with assessment of students learning, I would assess creative problem solving during maker-inspired lessons in the following way:

  1. Is it engaging? (color, content, creativity)
  2. Did it meet the criteria of GRASPS?
Example retrieved from here

My Kindergarten Example using GRASPS:


The design of these assessments is justified by the following connections to learning theories, and/or to the ideas presented by Wiggins in that he states, “The idea of focusing on impact is actually key to student autonomy, reflected in self-assessment and self-adjustment” (Wiggins, 2013).  I find this to be very true, in that students take on more responsibility for their learning when they are given the opportunity to let their creative sides show.  Grading on creativity (is it engaging?), pushes students to think “outside the box”, self-reflect and self-evaluate their work.  In the end, the work they produce is something that reflects them as a student, learner, and teacher.  It also helps the student to create more engaging and creative work!

As for my reasoning of using GRASPS, Wiggins states that”…when the student has clarity about the Goal of the task, their Role, the specific Audience, the specific Setting, the Performance particulars, and the Standards and criteria against which they will be judged, they can be far more effective – and creative!” (2012).  Guidelines are given, yet still allow for the student to show their creative side, work through trial and error, as well as collaborate with others in order to create an engaging piece of work.  I believe that this will not only produce creative work, but quality work that engages the learner and the reader.

Let’s allow our students to be CREATIVE, learn through collaboration, and be responsible for their own learning through self-assessment and self-evaluation.  Engage students in the work and more engaging and creative work will be produced!


Dios, A. (2014, February 22). Philippine Basic Education: Philippines DepEd Failed to GRASP k-12 Grading System. [Images]. Retrieved from:

Gee, J.P. (2010, July 20). James Paul Gee on Grading with Games. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Lacey, C. (2014). Quotes that Will Inspire Your Creativity as a Student. [Image] Retrieved from

Wiggins, G. (2012, February 3). On assessing for creativity: yes you can, and yes you should. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from


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