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The Importance of Creativity
Creativity inspires people on many different levels. In an online classroom setting, creativity means so much more. Creativity keeps the interest of the students and teachers alike while still providing a firm base which upon learning is the foundation. Creativity opens minds and perks interest in things that students might not otherwise have paid attention to.
The teacher’s ability to provide creative work environments or classroom work will ensure they get the student’s attention. Providing work -- which leaves the ordinary style behind -- for students to complete, not only stimulates but also helps to inspire the minds of the learners.
When a student brings creativity to the classroom he or she is going to be noticed. Teachers sit and look at the same type of assignments each and every class. Suddenly noticing something different from the rest makes the student’s work stand out. Great things can be learned through creativity.
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There are multiple areas within a student’s class where s/he can incorporate some form of creativity. The online classroom provides a unique learning experience, in which some individuals may find that they are having a hard time expressing their own individual creativity. While in the classroom, each student has three main opportunities to express creativity:
- 1. Presentations
- 2. Papers
- The online classroom itself
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Student Creativity: Presentations and Papers
While you could group presentations and papers into one common group titled "homework," these two assignments are really a lot more and should be treated as such. The student’s presentations and papers are typically for the instructor’s eyes only. This means the student should be as creative as possible. Never pick a subject for a paper that is common or you think has been used before. Try thinking outside the box on a subject and pick something you can relate to the topic, but that is unusual in an educational way. The subject will be the most important aspect of your presentation or paper because it provides a foundation from which the other ideas are born.
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Creativity in the Online Classroom Online college classrooms are setting the example for being creative. Creativity in an online classroom is only one of many great teaching tools. Utilizing different options that creativity brings to online classes has opened student's minds and sparks curiosity in things they might not otherwise have paid attention to.
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Student Creativity: Presentations and Papers (cont.)
Include as much visual augmentation as possible. Just because you cannot place photos in your papers doesn’t mean you can’t include an additional attachment with your personal thoughts on the subject and photos you discovered that relate to the topic. During a presentation, the visual aspect should hold your audience’s attention while they read the words. Pick photos that are relevant and interesting. Think outside the box for papers -- while following the instructor’s or professor’s guidelines to the letter. For example, if a student is taking a crime class they could do a paper in the same way they would write a report for the police department. Try writing a paper or putting together a presentation in the form of a medical chart, newspaper article, or anything relating to the specific class.
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Student Creativity: Online Classroom
Most online learning environments require weekly participation messages to be posted in the class, small weekly assignments that are repetitive, or other small type assignments that students complete on an almost daily basis. These are small opportunities to show a student’s personality and creativity while also displaying knowledge of the subject matter. Respond to another student’s or teacher’s message with topics that will spark the interest of the rest of the class as well. Ask questions in your response or statements to the general classroom, so as to involve other people and make them think. Choose topics for the classroom assignments that no one else chose to make your work different and interesting. Include quotes from famous people with references in your work that relate to the class or discussion as well. Do things that will get people talking.
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The teacher, instructor, or professor of any online classroom has what seems like a difficult road ahead of them. Communicating with a classroom full of students over the Internet -- while coordinating and creating homework or class work for them -- can be overwhelming. Then, on top of all that, the teacher needs to keep the students' attention and ensure s/he provides a solid learning environment when there is not a typical classroom setting. Being creative inside the online classroom will grab the students' attention and hold it. There are three primary ways for teachers to be creative inside the online classroom:
- Online classroom
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Creativity in Online and Distance Learning Classroom Creativity in the classroom will help students and teachers stay focused and learn from one another. Online college classrooms are setting the example for being creative. Creativity in an online classroom is only one of many great teaching tools.
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Teacher Creativity: Assignments
Assign work to your students that will inspire creativity of their own. Give broad topics for individual class work so that the students can expand their minds and apply the subject matter to things outside the classroom. Create assignments for the classroom that are outside the normal standards and incorporate multiple facets of the textbook. For example, if you are teaching a law class, have your students create a paper or presentation in the question and answer format a lawyer would use when questioning a jury; for a journalism class, the assignment could reflect the question and answer sheet of a reporter. Ask for the presentation to reflect a poem for an English or literature class, or come up with any idea that fits the classroom material.
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Teacher Creativity: Syllabus
The syllabus is a large part of the online classroom and something that students must read; many do not, however, because it is page after page of nothing but the same. Spice up the syllabus and be creative to hold the student’s attention. Include a calendar with the assignments on it instead of writing them out in bullet form and have some color for different title sections or important sections, so as to break up the black and white students normally see. Try including some small clip art photos or even a personal photo of yourself with your teacher introduction. Do things that will keep the student reading.
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Teacher Creativity: Online Classroom
Always ask questions in your responses or comments in the general classroom to spark a student's interest or keep her/him talking. Getting the students involved more is important. Again, in this situation you want to allow for a broad array of topics to be touched upon -- as long as they relate directly to the classroom material. This will allow students to incorporate personal and work experiences into the learning environment. Post important messages in red or a bold color or choose a color to always write in that is specific to “the instructor”. Doing this sets your messages apart from the crowd and makes them easier for students to locate. Remember to always focus on doing things that will ignite your students' personal creativity and learning.
“He or she is greatest who contributes the greatest original practical example.” – Walt Whitman