Creativity is generally defined as “the interaction among aptitude, process, and environment by which an individual or group produces a perceptible product that is both novel and useful as defined within a social context” (Plucker, Beghetto, & Dow, 2004, p. 90). Thus, the connections to making and makerspaces is obvious. However, creativity assessment which is typically grouped into four different types-creative processes, creative persons, creative products, and creative environments, still needs to be further studied, especially within the making contexts. We are focusing our efforts on evaluating the creative environments and creative products as we feel these strands are most salient for making with youth.
The Consensual Assessment Technique (Amabile, 1982) that features the use of expert judges to evaluate a product’s creativity still remains the most popular method for assessing creative products. Yet, evidence of reliability and validity is mixed. In particular, some researchers (e.g., Runco & Chand, 1994) have argued that expert opinions may not be more valid or useful than self-ratings or peer and teacher evaluations, and research regarding students’ creative self-efficacy has suggested students know whether they are creative (Authors, In press). Given the expenses and difficulty associated with finding expert raters in various domains, we aim to investigate the effectiveness of self-ratings, peer evaluations and teacher ratings by asking students, their peers, and teachers to choose the two most creative products that a student has made at the end of a making program, and rate them on a 1 (not creative at all) to 10 (extremely creative) Likert scale. Students will also be asked to complete a creative self-efficacy survey (Beghetto, Kaufman, & Baxter, 2011). Correlations among self-ratings, peer ratings, teacher ratings and students’ creative self-efficacy will provide valuable information regarding the potential effectiveness of these techniques in assessing creative products.
Since creativity involves the interaction among aptitude, process and environment, lots of efforts have been devoted to measuring creative environment (Authors, in press). For instance, Amabile, Conti, Coon, Lazenby, and Herron (1996) developed the KEYS: Assessing the Climate for Creativity instrument. This instrument is used to examine employees’ perceptions of their work environment that may influence creative work. It is associated with strong evidence of reliability and validity (Authors, in press). However, little has been understood regarding the creative environment within making contexts. Therefore, we developed an instrument that examines students’ perceptions of various aspects of their making programs such as resources, support from teachers, and reward systems. We adapted most of the items from KEYS (Amabile et al., 1996), but also included items that pertain to the unique features of making programs.