Are you looking for ways to spur your students’ creativity inside and outside the classroom? Often in our classrooms we teach students to think, read, and write “critically” with an emphasis on logic, argumentation, and research. Students respond strongly and positively to the opportunity to be creative because they feel empowered to personally engage with course material.

This workshop will explore the interconnections between “critical” and “creative” thinking and identify a variety of strategies that can deepen and sustain students’ engagement. Together, we will deconstruct the binaries of critical/creative and creator/critic, and develop assignments that flow across these modes of knowledge production. Participants are asked to bring an assignment they would like to re-visit to engage students in new and exciting ways.

This workshop was developed and offered in Fall 2018 as an in-person workshop at the Graduate Center, CUNY by Kaitlin Mondello and Laurie Hurson.


All materials on this page and in the linked google folder are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) 4.0 International Public License or as otherwise indicated on each document.

This folder contains outreach materials, workshop plans and slides, and a handout about ethical tech lingo used in the workshop.

Materials Folder: Creativity Workshop

Workshop Plan


1. Reflect on the meanings of and connections between “critical” and “creative”

  •  Activity: Crowd source definitions/examples of critical and creative thinking

2. Introduce and practice digital and non-digital activities and assignments that promote critical and creative thinking

  • Activity: In class creative activities on term review
  • Activity: Out of class creative option for an assignment

3. How to integrate creative assignments/practices into course structure

  • Activity: Assignment workshop


  1. Intros of attendees (discipline, courses taught)
  2. Activity: Defining Creative/Critical Thinking
    1. Project quote: Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Chapter 2-3 

“Whereas banking education anesthetizes and inhibits creative power, problem-posing education involves a constant unveiling of reality. The former attempts to maintain the submersion of consciousness; the latter strives for the emergence of consciousness and critical intervention in reality…Problem-posing education bases itself on creativity and stimulates true reflection and action upon reality, thereby responding to the vocation of persons as beings who are authentic only when engaged in inquiry and creative transformation

  • Discuss + breakdown binaries with post-its (1 definition, 1 example from each participant)
  1. In-class Example – Terminology review & games
    1. KM – poetry bingo [review terms bingo]
    2. LH Review Mingle; digital component: cognitive psych scavenger hunt
    3. Reflect and develop own game/activity (pairs/groups, disciplinary)
  2. Out of class examples
    1. KM – student blog posts re-write a scene from a play with visuals or court scene
    2. KM show Princeton list 
    3. LH- Digital exmaples
      1. Hypothesis & social annotation – touch on Scaffolding
      2. Final Project Options; Student blogs (scaffolding)
        1. Blogs + Chapter Re-write (VQ)   Re-write (NM)   Re-write  (ED)
        2.  Digital Ecology or Start Up Pitch
        3.  Story Maps or TImeline JS

3. Reflect and develop own activity (pairs/groups, interdisciplinary) – have them talk about their assignments and what’s not working/needs/ TPS — Assignment review + workshop (make this more structured with a list of options)

  • Have them share their plans with the full group if time

Wrap Up

  1. Plug opportunity for VP submissions and 2 upcoming workshops next week
  2. Give them time to do the feedback form