Module Information

Module Identifier
IL30220
Module Title
Creativity and Serendipity: theories and digital applications
Academic Year
2023/2024
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Individual essay  (3000 words)  75%
Semester Assessment Group Special Topic Presentation and written summary  (2000 words equivalent)  25%
Supplementary Assessment Submission of a resit essay  (3000 words)  75%
Supplementary Assessment Submission of a report with accompanying presentation  (2000 words)  25%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Define, identify and analyse the principal issues and theories associated with the identification, stimulation and support of Creativity.

2. Define, identify and analyse the main issues and theories associated with Serendipity.

3. Examine Creativity, Serendipity and Interdisciplinarity as outcomes of human behavior within frameworks of thought, context and information situation.

4. Distinguish between different forms of disciplinarity and the differences of working across disciplinary boundaries by virtue of the individual, the research problem or collaboration.

5. Relate Creativity and serendipity to real world problems.

6. Identify and critically discuss proposals for the encouragement, support and facilitation of Creativity and Serendipity and examine the perceived of creativity and serendipity within contemporary society.

Brief description

This module will provide a basis for reflection, research and practice on each of these areas, and also introduce these concepts as increasingly important areas of research and application:
(i) For individuals a reflection on these problems and ways of thinking can benefit personal growth and improved work contributions.
(ii) For researchers creativity, inspiration, development of new theories, approaches, and solutions.
(iii) Researchers seeking to emulate intelligence and learning: is the difference the ability to create, to dream, to imagine? These present challenges – how do we encourage, perform, and enable: For people in information roles there is a need to engage with people, systems, and to facilitate these complex outcomes; how might this be done and what resources and preparation does it require?
(iv) For organisations does our talk about research culture, the research environment, and of information and organisation structure follow through to outcomes (i) and (ii).
(v) Researchers seeking to create automated approaches need to ask how do we define, capture, cultivate, and replicate the intangible products of human cognition and behaviour? Exploring and learning within this area is intended to allow students to develop their own interpretations that they may apply in a range of disciplinary and practical contexts, not least of which is the intention to provide a basis for further research problems.

Content

1. Introduction and initial exploration of the subject including some of the key ideas and frameworks for placing the problems of these desirable, yet largely intangible and hard to define, outcomes within culture, organisation and human experience.

2. The source of creativity has perplexed thinkers throughout the ages: What is the creative muse? Where does inspiration come from? How do you know you have a unique or new idea that contributes to the body of knowledge? Are there practical ways of thinking or providing an environment in which creative connections and inspiration can occur without being stifling the outcome? Explore creativity from the point of view of the researcher, organisation or group: how do we manage, recognise and capture the creative process, and how do we manage/record creativity and issues around who owns outcomes [practical/intellectual/etc].

3. Everyone it seems is interested in serendipity, that satisfying feeling of finding the new and interesting item that they never knew existed. The nature of serendipity is explored with reference to theory and examples. Research methods spanning the capture of serendipity, and the problems that arise will be discussed, alongside questions of whether serendipity as the “fortuitous accident” can be induced, and whether personality and learning can make what some authors refer to as encounters, nonencounterers and super-encounterers. Examine theoretical and practical methods approaches, and consider how might we encourage serendipity in the real world? Again the question of capturing and supporting the Eureka moment.

4. Where do ideas sit within disciplinary frameworks? Interdisciplinarity as one dimension of universities and industries cross-pollinating ideas and methods spanning otherwise separate disciplines. The nature of disciplines and the definition of “discipline”, “cross-discipline” “intra- and inter- discipline will be explored. Definitions and boundaries are important, but are we moving towards new views of these areas, as is the nature of a problem spanning more than one traditional discipline; we also ask at what point can you contribute effectively across disciplinary areas. Issues of encouraging and developing interdisciplinarity and the ways it can/might be enabled are explored with reflection on aspects of training, disciplinary-linguistic challenges, culture, epistemological dimensions and knowledge frameworks: can you really do more than facilitate/enable or encourage interdisciplinarity? The role of communication methods in supporting/shaping new insights and cross-pollinations will be explored, as will questions of whether solo research (the person as interdiscipline) or collaborative (the group or organisation as interdiscipline) will be raised.

5. The three challenges mentioned in the rationale are engaged with – how do we encourage, perform, and enable: For people in information roles there is a need to engage with people, systems, and to facilitate these complex outcomes; how might this be done and what resources and preparation does it require? (iv) For organisations does our talk about research culture, the research environment, and of information and organisation structure follow through to outcomes (i) and (ii). (v) Researchers seeking to create automated approaches need to ask how do we define, capture, cultivate, and replicate the intangible products of human cognition and behaviour? Exploring and learning within this area is intended to allow students to develop their own interpretations that they may apply in a range of disciplinary and practical contexts, not least of which is the intention to provide a basis for further research problems.

6. Overview. The scope of the module is deliberately broad, exposure to thoughts and to readings will connect practical, theoretical and philosophical approaches to these areas. The potential shape and form for the subject, the nature of its occurrence, and case study and examples will be used to explore the issues arising in “being creative serendipitous interdisciplinary”. Students will gain appreciation of the subjects, of the methods used to study them and to contextualise them as real world as well as research focused problems/opportunities.



Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Essay writing skills are developed and assessed through the assignment. The group assignment will help develop oral presentation skills and skills in summarization.
Improving own Learning and Performance Reflect on the preparation work done for seminars; reflect on feedback from assignments following completion.
Information Technology ICTs and their implications for society is core to the module. In addition, the module requires application of IT skills in communication and presentation.
Personal Development and Career planning Skills and knowledge developed in and through this module will contribute to professional employability. The topics covered in this module are core to the disciplines of information studies, computer science and indeed social sciences more generally.
Problem solving Through critical interpretation of essay questions and seminars exercises and through the group assignment.
Research skills Research skills assessed through the assignments. In addition, students will undertake research as follow up to workshop sessions.
Subject Specific Skills The module introduces the core concepts, theories and models of social informatics and digital ethics.
Team work Through workshop activities and through the group presentation assignment.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6