Creativity has been mostly studied from an individual point of view in the field of psychology. Nevertheless, there is a growing number of studies in the field of education in team-based activities in different types of creative projects, such maker based education. The ANR #CreaMaker project aims to advance the knowledge of creativity and co-creativity process not only in same-age teams but also in intergenerational ones, in ill-defined problem solving with educational robotic technologies.
In this context, #CreaMaker aims to advance research in the study of creative problem solving according to the age of the participants, but also according to the modality (individual or collaborative) and attitudes of tolerance to error, tolerance for ambiguity and risk taking. The #CreaMaker project is based on mixed methodology approaches (Strijbos & Fischer, 2007) which combine quantitative and qualitative analyzes. Mixed approaches with longitudinal data are well established in the field of collaborative learning (Cress, 2008, P.A. Kirschner & Erkens, 2013) and can still be applied in the context of individual learning. The project is organized in a series of four workshops. The quantitative component of the project uses psychometric instruments validated for each of the attitudes studied (tolerance for error, tolerance for ambiguity and risk-taking).
The study of an ill-defined problem solving task mediated through the Cubelets modular robotics engages the learner in manipulating and assembling the cubes to build a vehicle that moves autonomously from an initial point (P1) to an end point (P2). This task may seem simple due to the assembly of cubes. However, a limited number of ways allow the parts to be assembled in a balanced structure. For example, it is possible to make a horizontal assembly of the set of parts or to place the cubes on two complete or partial floors of cubes. According to an order of functionality, the red part must be found between the distance sensor and the actuator-type cube which includes wheels to allow the reversal of movement. Thus, if the participant assembles the parts vertically, by creating a column, the structure does not allow stability to be kept during movement, which leads to a difficulty in achieving a balanced structure. On the other hand, if participants place the red cube at one end of the robot, it may not act as an «inverter.«
Among the results obtained in this first phase of the ANR CreaMaker project, we observed differences in the problem solving of the CreaCube task between children and adults. We observe that the children, contrary to our initial assumptions, take more time for each of the phases, especially during activity 1 for the instructions and observation phases. Their unfamiliarity with cubes and the task makes them take a long time from the start of the first activity, but also during each iteration of testing a solution. On the other hand, adults are quicker to understand instructions and anticipate an assembly idea. These results are in line with the results of Staudinger and Baltes (1996) who observed that the knowledge of adults made it possible to compensate for certain cognitive difficulties when faced with a new task. Secondly, the CreaCube activity has different degrees of creative freedom, which influences the diversity of the phases that could be modeled. The study of the duration of the different phases made it possible to identify the importance of the alternation between exploration and assembly and of the alternation between instructions and analysis (exploitation). These observations confirm the importance for learners of creating an alternation between their knowledge and the data of the problem (Bélanger et al. 2014) and the interest of considering the non-linearity of the problem-solving process.
Finally, the longer exploration time for both children and adults tends to show that the exploration phase is very important before reaching an analysis / exploitation phase. Indeed, we have observed that in the absence of a satisfactory solution, the participants alternate between phases of exploration and assembly / exploitation.
The analysis of problem solving in the CreaCube task is developed from a modeling of the states of the task which correspond to a finite-state machine that is represented in the form of a directed graph. The nodes correspond to the behavioral state of the learner in the task, and the nodes correspond to the transitions between these states. This makes it possible to represent the different stages of the resolution of the problem, and to distinguish which sequences can occur from one stage to another. The modeling of the task has been developed in numerous works developed in the field of Computing and Human Learning Environments (EIAH) at the crossroads of FLS and digital sciences. In the engineering of tele-training training, Paquette and colleagues (2003) model the task and the knowledge in order to structure the activity in a tele-learning situation.
With the objective of facilitating the analysis of the task by means of a computer program, as part of the ANR CreaMaker project, a graphical interface aimed to facilitate the analysis of the various observables: the observables of the assembly actions and disassembly, the configuration of the cube configurations (figures), the problems encountered, the identification of the affordances of the objects, and the emotions encountered during the task. The notion of affordance (Gibson, 1988) is particularly important here because it allows, after a first phase of astonishment (Thievenaz, 2017) produced by the initial perception and identification of a specificity in the object, to '' follow up with a phase of exploration of the object and the emergence of new technological knowledge following the interactions of subjects with the object.
The publications of the ANR CreaMaker project are available in open access on HAL: hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/LINE/.
==> 5 articles from peer-reviewed scientific journals:
Leroy, A., & Romero, M. (accepted). Interactivity and materiality matter in creativity: educational robotics for the assessment of divergent thinking. Interactive Learning Environments.
Cassone, L., Romero, M., & Basiri Esfahani, S. (2020). Group processes and creative components in a problem-solving task with modular robotics. Journal of Computers in Education. doi.org/10.1007/s40692-020-00172-7
Romero, M., DeBlois, L., & Pavel, A. (2018). CreaCube, comparaison de la résolution créative de problèmes, chez des enfants et des adultes, par le biais d’une tâche de robotique modulaire. MathémaTICE (61). revue.sesamath.net/spip.php
Komis, V., Romero, M., Depover, C., & Karsenti, T. (2019). Robotics in Primary Education - Robotics in Primary Education: Introduction. Review of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education, 3-6 Pages. doi.org/10.26220/REV.3151
Romero, M. (2019b). Analyser les apprentissages à partir des traces?: Des opportunités aux enjeux éthiques. Distances et médiations des savoirs, 26. doi.org/10.4000/dms.3754
==> 2 Books
Sanchez, E. & Romero, M. (2020). Apprendre en jouant. Retz. www.editions-retz.com/pedagogie/domaines-transversaux/apprendre-en-jouant-9782725639550.html
Sanabria-Z, J., Romero, M., Guerci, E., & Lefèvre, S.-C. (2019). L’écosystème techno-créatif de la Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur?: Des acteurs et des (tiers) lieux pour le développement d’une citoyenneté créative et d’une éducation aux compétences transversales. Centre de recherche et d’intervention sur la réussite scolaire (CRIRES). www7.bibl.ulaval.ca/doelec/lc2/monographies/2019/a2986002.pdf
==> 5 book chapters
==> 4 communications in peer-reviewed conferences
Learning-by-making engages participants in the design and creation of digital and tangible artifacts through different technologies (Maloy & Edwards, 2018; Martin,2015). Maker education activities are developed through collaborative design approaches (Voogt et al., 2015) aiming at conceiving an artifact to provide a creative solution to a problem. Through maker-based activities, participants are engaged in constructionist activities (Papert & Harel, 1991) based on developing an idea, then designing and creating an external representation of that idea (Kafai & Resnick, 1996; Sheridan et al., 2014). Despite a growing number of maker education initiatives in the last years, intergenerational making activities have not yet been analysed in terms of co-creativity. Through the #CreaMaker project we aim to advance the knowledge of the co-creativity process not only in same-age teams but also in intergenerational ones.
Maker-based projects have the potential to combine tinkering, programming and educational robotics to engage the learner in the development of creativity both in individual and collaborative activities (Kamga, Romero, Komis, & Mirsili, 2016). Nevertheless, the assessment of creative competencies has not been studied yet in maker-based projects considering age heterogeneity at creative attitudes. #CreaMaker main objective is to analyse co-creativity as a contextual and emergent process in the context of team-based maker activities through an Activity Theory approach (Barma, Romero, & Deslandes, 2017; Fleming, 2015). Within the #CreaMaker project, creativity is analysed not only as an individual competency but also as a team-based process in which the learners’ attitudes are hypothesized as potential antecedents to individual and collective creativity (co-creativity). Learners’ attitudes analysed within the #CreaMaker project include error tolerance (Tulis, 2013), tolerance to ambiguity (DeRoma, Martin, & Kessler, 2003) and risk taking (Davies, 2003); which are engaged when participants co-create solutions to overcome a problem (Barma et al., 2015). Considering the lack of studies combining age heterogeneity and these three attitudes in the analysis of the co-creative process, the #CreaMaker research objectives will contribute to advance knowledge in this field.
The #CreaMaker project is based on a Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) approach (Cress, 2008; P. A. Kirschner & Erkens, 2013) applying a mixed-method methodology (Strijbos & Fischer, 2007). The #CreaMaker workshops follow the Change Laboratory methodology (Engeström, 1987, 2015; Sannino, Engeström, & Lahikainen, 2016) and also comprise a quantitative approach based on established psychometrically validated instruments for each of the attitudes (error tolerance, tolerance to ambiguity, risk taking). Four age groups are considered for the study: high-school learners (15 to 18), young adults (19 to 29), adult learners (30 to 59), and older adults (60 to 79). #CreaMaker workshops are conducted in age-specific teams but also in intergenerational teams to test the hypothesis of the co-creativity advantage of teams comprising members of different age groups over teams comprised of one same-age group (H1: intergenerational teams are more co-creative than same-age teams). In same-age teams, we expect participants to show a higher level of co-creativity at younger ages than in later life (H2: younger same-age teams are more co-creative than adults and older same-age teams) and observe different levels of creativity depending on participants’ error tolerance (H3), tolerance to ambiguity (H4) and risk taking (H5). All these hypotheses will be analysed longitudinally through the workshops’ maker-based activities. The research papers, the conference proceedings, the co-creativity instrument, and the workshop activities will be made available through the #CreaMaker website, to ensure an open dissemination of the project instruments and outcomes.
Madame Margarida Romero (Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - Laboratoire d'Innovation et Numérique pour l'Education)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
UNS - LINE Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - Laboratoire d'Innovation et Numérique pour l'Education
Help of the ANR 301,294 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: November 2018 - 48 Months