ENGGEN 743 : Applied Creative Thinking


2023 Semester One (1233) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Application of inventive problem solving and creative thinking to formulate novel engineering solutions. Theories, tools and techniques to assist with generating innovative ideas. Techniques for improving the creativity of teams. Develops skills in the facilitation of workshops to help teams solve complex problems. Practical application of the concepts are synthesised to solve case study industry problems, and students’ individual scenarios.

Course Overview

Applied creative thinking is increasingly important in all walks of life. Whether it be the Arts, Science, Engineering, Business, or Politics, new and smarter ways of doing things are always in demand. Some people perceive that creativity is genetic, but there is signicant research and practical evidence to conrm that a person's creativity can be improved by changes to the environment, mental state, and learned skills. This course is designed to provide an insight into how we can improve creativity in the workplace, giving a framework for the management of the creative process that doesn't rely on luck or chance discoveries.

The course is divided into six modules for the students to discover creative techniques, understand them, and apply them to an environment they are familiar with. In this way, they can test the ideas and critically review their eectiveness in an environment that is known/has a known history. To improve the learning outcomes, students will form groups of 2-3 people to discuss their own learnings and the results of their application. These can be compared and contrasted with other students' experiences to boost knowledge.

The modules are spread over the 12-week course, so a module should be completed every two weeks. At the midpoint of each module, there will be an online tutorial to answer any questions students have on the materials, their application experiences, for wider discussions, and for students to give feedback on any insights they have gained. The topics for the modules are:

1. Introduction to Applied Creative Thinking, creativity and problem solving
2. People, teams, and bias
3. Systems thinking, and the Theory of Constraints
4. TRIZ, SCAMPER and other systematic approaches
5. Lateral thinking and Idea generators
6. Facilitation, solving problems, and review

Delivery is via online materials, discussion groups, and tutorials. Attendance at tutorials is not mandatory but is highly encouraged to cement the learning. Contribution to tutorials and discussion boards forms part of the student assessment.

Students are expected to undertake considerable additional work per week reading, contributing to discussions, and completing assignments.

Course Requirements

Restriction: ENGGEN 722

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles, concepts, tools, and techniques to assist in generating innovative solutions to complex problems (Capability 1 and 3)
  2. Apply the principles, concepts, tools and techniques to complex problems in real situations (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  3. Critically evaluate the environment, principles, concepts, tools and techniques used when generating solutions to complex problems (including their adoption by people), and the suitablity of their use in various situations (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Critically evaluate their own and others' ability to apply creative thinking principles, concepts, tools and techniques to complex problems in a team environment and an organisation, and develop improvement plans (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  5. Apply tools and techniques to design and facilitate virtual and face to face workshops for solving complex problems, and present the solutions to stakeholders (Capability 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 90% Individual Coursework
Contributions to tutorials and discussions 10% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Contributions to tutorials and discussions

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 150 hours working on each 15-point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 10 hours of tutorials, 60 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and 80 hours of work on assignments.

Delivery Mode


Attendance is expected at scheduled online tutorials to receive credit for components of the course.
The online tutorials will be recorded.
Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement.
This course runs to the University semester/quarter timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

A full list of additional learning resources is available on the Auckland Online course website plus the Talis reading list.

Health & Safety

There are no special risks associated with this course. Students are encouraged to discuss any workload-related issues with the facilitator at the earliest possible time and to prepare their assignments from the start of the course, rather than waiting until the deadlines.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Some improvements have been made to clarify expectations for the assignments based on student feedback.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Students are encouraged to submit draft work via the online facility on this course to check any of their assignments for plagiarism.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Students are encouraged to plan their coursework submissions at the start of the course.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Announcements of any changes will be made via Canvas announcements and e-mail.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.

Students should notify the tutor or coordinator of any concerns they have.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Students will be notified of any changes.

Published on 13/11/2022 05:13 p.m.