Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Aptitude-Treatment Interactions during Creativity Training in E-Learning: How Meaning-Making, Self-Regulation, and Knowledge Management Influence Creativity

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Aptitude-Treatment Interactions during Creativity Training in E-Learning: How Meaning-Making, Self-Regulation, and Knowledge Management Influence Creativity

Article excerpt

Introduction

Creativity is the foundation of human civilization (Dietrich & Kanso, 2010). Given the central importance of creativity and the dominance of e-learning in higher education, it is important to identify the underlying mechanisms that contribute to university students' learning of creativity in e-learning environments and, accordingly, to design effective training programs to enhance their creativity. According to aptitude-treatment interactions (ATIs), individuals differ in their readiness to profit from a particular treatment and individuals may adapt their situations to fit their own characteristics; therefore, finding the interactions between treatments and learners' aptitudes helps to create an environment in which the treatments match the aptitude of the learner and, further, to achieve optimal learning (Yeh, 2012b). It has also been suggested that the effects of any learning environment on behavioral engagement in learning are mediated by learner characteristics (Sha, Looi, Chen, Seow, & Wong, 2012). Accordingly, designing an e-learning program to improve university students' creativity is related not only to technological issues but also to learners' aptitudes.

This study is concerned with the ATIs effects of three aptitudes on the learning of creativity: meaning-making ability, self-regulation ability, and knowledge management (KM) ability. People with high level of meaning-making ability can actively reappraise events or series of events (Davis & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2009). People with great self-regulation ability tend to actively participate in the learning process in terms of behaviors, motivation, and metacognition (Lee, Lim, & Grabowskig, 2009). Finally, people with great knowledge management ability are competent in knowledge acquisition, knowledge sharing, knowledge application, and knowledge creation (Gagne, 2009; Yeh, 2012a). These aptitudes may contribute to the development of creative ideas and the coping of frustration during creative processes. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate whether the aptitudes of meaning-making, self-regulation, and KM would interact with the treatment of creativity training and then influence creativity in e-learning.

Definitions of creativity

A recent consensus of creativity is that creativity refers to the ability of producing responses that are novel and appropriate (Shamay-Tsoory, Adler, Aharon-Peretz, Perry, & Mayseless, 2011). However, whether creativity is a domain-specific or a domain-general ability remains a debate. While some researchers (e.g. Baer & Kaufman, 2005) argued that creativity is a domain-general trait, some researchers claimed that creativity is domain-specific (e.g. Simonton, 2012; Reiter-Palmon, Illies, Cross, Buboltz & Nimps, 2009), and the others (e.g. Silvia, Kaufman, & Pretz, 2009) supported hybrid models in which general factors are required for the development of creativity and domain-specific factors are critical to certain creative activities. This study supports the hybrid model and suggests that creativity is a process in which one generates a culturally "original" and "valuable" response or product within a certain domain. Moreover, during the creation process, both general factors and domain-specific factors are required and a creative outcome is the result of the interactions of personal characteristics and the environment. Accordingly, three personal characteristics that may influence creation process were included in the experimental instruction in this study. However, since the experimental instruction were integrated into a liberal education course, participants were from different disciplines, only the general factors of creativity were investigated in this study.

Over the past six decades, divergent thinking tests have been the most popular evaluation instrument for understanding the general factors of creativity. Such tests measure the ability to generate new ideas, allowing the development of multiple solutions to a given problem. …

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