Type of Powerful Assessment - Assessment of Creativity, entrepreneurialism, invention



  • Assessment focused on social enterprise - Students work in teams on a social enterprise project in a not-for-profit organisation and write up an evaluation/enhancement plan (this is done offshore in a range of developing countries as well as onshore). There is particular focus on demonstrating that the suggested strategy is feasible and that is being implemented with positive impact. In some cases this may require one group of students to ‘hand over’ the action plan to a subsequent team in which case assessment is based on the extent to which their briefing is clear, evidence-based and helpful to the group carrying on with the implementation of the action plan.


  •  SBA 495 is Portland State University’s largest Capstone and engages over 750 students in 35 sections of a business strategy course that partners with an organization in the community to address real world business challenges. In this Capstone students learn to systematically analyze a firm’s internal and external environments and, through engagement with community partners, apply concepts and theories related to the formulation and implementation of business/organization strategies. Students join an interdisciplinary team; pool their knowledge, skills, and interests; use strategy to address a problem or concern of the community partner. Emphasis is on multiple functions and perspectives to understand diverse management and stakeholder interpretations, conceive integrative solutions, and address social and organizational outcomes.

 Portland State University

Community & social work

  • Student teams undertake a series of focus groups to identify instances of discrimination in the surrounding community. They are to write and produce a video script then load it up onto YouTube for use as a trigger for community feedback and class learning. The product is assessed on the quality of each component using class and teacher feedback along with clear evidence of effective performance of different team roles. This assessment task measures diagnosis, the ability to synthesise, the ability to work with diversity, creativity and invention, lateral thinking, and fosters the learning of generic skills – in this case use of video and YouTube as a form of public engagement and dissemination.


Creative industries, Arts & Design

  • Production of a business case against a set of good practice guidelines for an invention produced in a cross disciplinary team.

Creative industry course

  • Audience and peer feedback using a set of agreed quality tests on the staging of a drama production.


  • Compositions, performance and the quality of reviews in a Music Program.


  • Use of Sibelius to create a musical composition – multiple reviews and assessment via the web against a set rubric and indicators.


  • Creative industries course: students blog a creative project – they keep a visual diary, have to produce a creative statement on ‘me’, demonstrate a clear understanding of skills and design philosophy (metacognition), set a project, deliver it, self evaluate, get and use peer review effectively; provide evidence of digital literacy and clear communications. The final product is peer-reviewed by successful practitioners in the field and supported by students who form communication teams around common project areas in their blogs.


  • UTS Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation – In this program students ‘take ideas for a walk’ and trial speculative scenarios – they undertake thought experiments and engage in carefully-designed sandpit environments with creative methods and practices from across the disciplines. Students explore what innovation looks like from multiple perspectives and are empowered to think big and ‘think different’ about future possibilities and their role as change-makers. In their final years they realise projects, initiate start-ups, run symposiums on creativity and innovation, and work with a broad range of academics and real world clients.


  • Students are to scan ads using a range of media and contact networks for potentially relevant jobs in their professional area. They are to select one job and outline and justify how they would ‘pitch’ it. They then have to locate a request for tender and have to write a bid for the tender with a business plan. Assessment includes a focus on the effectiveness of search, the quality and justification of the 'pitch' and the relevance of the tender.



  • Education Social Studies (first year): This assessment task involves students in addressing historical and geographically located themes with a view to producing a childrens’ book on an interesting aspect of local (social) history. A key focus is on achieving the ‘feeling of place’. Students can pursue a selection of themes including the lives of the original inhabitants, the lives of migrants, what children did for entertainment in the area in earlier times etc. Students are required to locate and use primary resources and write the book at a language level suited to the child audience. They not only produce the book but submit notes on how they did it and a critical appraisal of the feedback received, relating this to the checkpoints on effective writing for the age group concerned discussed in class.


  • Media/Arts is a new subject area in ACARA. In this task students are to identify apps that would help school students to engage productively and creatively with the arts. Each student is to locate an app, evaluate it and then demonstrate it briefly in class with a short evaluation review and suggestions on where it might best be used. Assessment would be in the form of a report based on class feedback, lecturer feedback and self review against the following evaluation criteria: links to the requirements of ACARA, relevance, feasibility, scalability and cost.



  • Purdue Polytechnic Institute’s UG Transdisciplinary studies in Technology Program. ‘The program emphasizes creation, application and transfer of knowledge through hands-on learning…. (it).. combines individualized plans of study, close faculty mentoring of students and a competency-based approach for traditional learners at a public research university”… (This approach)… shifts the focus away from traditional credit hours and instead measures student progress on demonstrated (capabilities and) competencies. The learning is organized around themes and driven by problems rather than seat time in a classroom…. A student must demonstrate expertise in eight broadly defined primary competencies in order to graduate. The primary competencies include design thinking, effective communication, social interaction on a team, ethical reasoning, and innovation and creativity. Each of the competencies is split into five sub-competencies…. Through the program, achieved competencies will be accounted for while an e-portfolio will showcase them and be added to the students’ academic records…. Dean Bertoline said competency-based education answers the call from industry leaders looking for a different type of higher education graduate… “They are looking for well-rounded graduates that not only have deep technical knowledge and skills but very broad capabilities for open-ended problem solving, greater creativity, ability to work in diverse teams and better communications skills,” he said. A video on the program is available at: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BxdPFMVWz-l2ZVhIdVNqdXNUZjQ&usp=drive_web


  • Engineering design – the creation of a real-world engineering device – e.g. a blood pressure device. The capabilities being assessed are imagination, innovation, feasibility, marketability with a business plan – students invent and then have to mount a case to convincingly sell it to a ‘client’ (Inv). Engineering – a group project to design a small robot with peer feedback and ongoing formative feedback from the instructor. The final formal submission measures not only inventiveness, feasibility and useability but also a wide range of interpersonal collaborative and self-management abilities. A clear grading rubric on each element is used and this is discussed and made clear from the outset. This task allows students to deal with design issues at a much deeper and more collaborative level than the more traditional, isolated lab exercise. But it might be hard to resource if you had really large classes.


  • Engineering in a range of US universities is being directly integrated with the liberal arts.This enables students to learn not only about engineering-design principles and their technical application but also about the social context in which these designs must be put into action. This article argues that engineering education (and its assessment) today needs to help students devise innovative solutions for a complex world while also anticipating their potential unintended consequences. In other words, engineering education needs to prepare students to design expansively and imaginatively. One example cited in the article concerns an engineering design course at the Rochester Institute of Technology provides students with the opportunity to explore "effective access technologies" — that is, technologies aimed at providing services to people with disabilities. To create such technologies, engineering students need to do more than just consider the mechanics or electronics of a prosthetic limb, or a lifting device, or a mechanism to enhance vision for the partially blind. Engineers need to think about how these technologies will be used in different social and cultural settings and refine them accordingly to enhance their use.


For more details see: Chronicle of HE April 27, 2015 Loni Bordooi and James WinebrakAt: http://chronicle.com/article/Bringing-the-Liberal-Arts to/229671/?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

  •  Waterloo Engineering Ideas clinic
    The Engineering Ideas Clinic™ (https://uwaterloo.ca/engineering-ideas-clinic/) at the University of Waterloo supplements a traditional engineering curriculum with open-ended activities designed to spark student self-learning and exploration…
    We focus on design since this represents the pinnacle of engineering practice and integrates a full range of technical and non-technical knowledge, skills and abilities. Examples of Engineering Ideas Clinic Activities include:

Analysis and Redesign Activities. Students are challenged to explore in detail how real-word engineering artefacts operate, to develop and validate appropriate engineering models, and to apply these models to the re-design of the artefact for improvement, to suit a new application, etc. For example, students may be challenged to develop a model of a water filter for a hypothetical competitor company, or to take a model fuel cell car and integrate new control to facilitate bump detection, etc. Major longitudinal activities are under development in this thread, for example, in mechanical engineering, the dissection of an engine in first-year, followed by analysis of various components in subsequent courses, and culminating in a re-design in the final year.


Contacts: Jason Grove (jagrove@uwaterloo.ca) and Sanjeev Bedi (sanjeev.bedi@uwaterloo.ca)

  •  Design-directed engineering education and technology entrepreneurship at Simon Fraser University. Here we study what it means to be an engineer using an open-ended design problem that covers all that we need to learn. The assignment (100 students) covers the following:
    • Customer needs and product specs
    • Refinement of these
    • Translation to a relevant and feasible spec
    • Success indicators
    • Info gathering and use
    • Building, testing refining the prototype

For assessment the team must hand in a report on each of above plus the different designs they came up with, along with evidence that they have benchmarked against what others done, and that their preferred design works.

Simon Fraser University

 Entrepreneurship & invention programs

  • The combined business –law experiential strategy seminar at the University of Windsor, Ontario taught by business professor Francine Schlosser and Faculty of Law professor Myra Tawfik, brings together students from each faculty and requires them to help businesses solve problems ranging from improving efficiency and market share to intellectual property protection. Fostering that creative problem solving in its students caught the attention of the Canadian Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, which awarded it for being the most innovative entrepreneurial education course in the country at its annual 2015 meeting last month in Calgary. 


See also the strategy and entrepreneurship concentration at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business.

  • UTS Degree in Creative Intelligence and Innovation. The Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (BCII) is a unique, combined degree that encompasses high-level critical and creative thinking, invention, complexity, innovation, future scenario building and entrepreneurship; building leading-edge capabilities that are highly valued in the globalised world. BCII students are selected from 17 disciplines, from all faculties, to participate in a future-facing, world-first, transdisciplinary degree that takes multiple perspectives from diverse fields, integrating a range of industry experiences, real-world projects and self-initiated proposals – equipping students to address the complex challenges and untapped opportunities of our times.


  • Harvard Innovation Lab
    At: https://i-lab.harvard.edu/explore/about/
    Launched in November 2011, the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab) is a resource for any student at Harvard interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. Programming is designed to help students grow their ventures at any stage of development and covers a wide range of disciplines. The i-lab offers a five-stage engagement model focused on foundational and experiential learning that enables students to explore entrepreneurship, meet and engage with a growing community of first-time founders and experienced entrepreneurs, ideate in human-centric ways, prototype and build to test the practicality of their visions, and launch and grow their ventures.

Some 31 cross university courses are offered ranging from design, venture founders’ dilemmas, commercialising science, eco-entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial science and leadership, entrepreneurship in Africa, creative thinking and organisational success to entrepreneurial finance, entrepreneurship in the online economy, trade, development and entrepreneurship and an E-Lab.Assessment is predominantly project/thesis/group based.


Event management

  • Event plan creation in partnership with a business/organization – this is a real project (it tests in combination students’ personal, interpersonal and cognitive capabilities plus their ability to draw upon relevant generic and profession-specific skills and knowledge. The effectiveness of the plan in practice is then evaluated by the client against their original brief and success indicators.



  • In a communication skills subject in Health Science students watch a video of an interaction with a client and have to take notes exactly just as they will have to do in a clinic after they graduate. They then have to write up a progress note which fits the legal requirements and conventions and which is relevant to what is seen and is coherent.


Higher Education

  • Grad Cert in HE: participants have to rewrite a subject outline they are teaching applying the learning and assessment principles taught. They then have to justify their rewrite.


ICT and software engineering


  • Year long capstone – a development reviewed formatively by peers and external entrepreneurs then summatively in a staged way.


  • IT and chemistry: online interdisciplinary scenario-inquiry tasks for active learning in large, first year STEM chemistry courses with more than 1000 students enrolled – students from different disciplines are to work together to determine how best to handle a complex, real world issue with no ‘right’ answer – this was a UQ led initiative funded by ALTC/OLT in 2009.


  • Computer programming: work integrated learning project based on a real world business need – the lecturer acts as a coach but doesn’t write any of the code, only responds to what the student is doing with formative input.


  • Identify a project from a given menu or one of your own choosing, form your own group of fellow students with the complementary skills necessary to deliver the develop, jointly formulate a project proposal and present this to a panel – assessment is based on both the quality of the outcome and the group process.



  •  Using new online creation tools students create and produce stories and videos in Spanish which are evaluated for quality and production against a rubric discussed in class.


Media & Arts

  • Video production and presentations with review by a panel against standard industry criteria.


  • Successful programming in the university’s radio/TV station.



  • In a music degree students each year create and record a series of individual pieces. Then they first self assess and then are evaluated by peers and finally are assessed by the lecturer using the popular music assessment tool - BoPMAT. Students are marked on how valid and justified their self-assessment is along with the peer feedback using 4 clear criteria. This is done online using BoPMAT – Students provide a paragraph of feedback on each track they record. They are admitted to the program by interview. For further details see: http://assessmentinmusic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/The-BoPMAT-1.pdf


  • Performing arts – music – the student has to compose a piece, orchestrate it, do all the sound checks, do a promotional poster, prepare a media release, get the college orchestra working then present it for review in a live venue. Assessment is based on the external review and the student’s self-assessment against the key outcomes and criteria set down for the course.



  • A doctoral class in Psychology learns how to edit Wikipedia entries in their area of speciality The assessment looks at the response from the Wikipedia editors and if the students’ evidence-based edits remain on the site.


 Research methods

  • In a qualitative methods class students are to teach their peers about a methodology so that they understand it well enough to evaluate research using that method. The assessment covers feedback on the effectiveness of the student teacher and the quality of application of the methodology to the piece of research evaluated by those taught.



  • Evaluation of a cross-disciplinary approach to animation of biological processes in which graphic artists, IT designers and scientists work together to show how biology works with a view to attracting more young people to a career in the area. Assessment can include evaluation of the design, creativity, technical robustness along with the number of downloads and audience feedback. For an example of what the results can look like see the Walter + Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research’s WEHI.TV site and WEHI.TV animations like insulin production and type 1 diabetes.


  • General science: students link up with an early career researcher and are asked to describe in plain English to school students what the research is about, why it is relevant to them, what is being discovered and why it is so engaging to do this sort of experimental work – as a way to encourage more high school students to consider enrolling in STEM and as away to encourage UG students to consider this career path. Evaluated using a community service subject rubric.


  • Students have to produce a YouTube video which makes clear to a lay person what a particular piece of science involves and how it is useful. Assessment is determined by (a) audience rating (b) number of hits on YouTube. Some of these YouTube student videos have gone viral and many have thousands of followers all around the world. For one example see: http://news.mit.edu/2012/k-12-education-video-initiative-0425.


Sustainable social, cultural, economic & environmental development


  • Education for Sustainability at Western Sydney University: Developing ‘sustainability literacy’ requires the development and assessment of new ways of thinking and learning that enable us to recognise the connections between environmental concerns, social patterns and individual actions… and builds skills for inquiry, analysis and creative action. It promotes personal and social change, develops civic values and empowers learners to be leaders for a sustainable future.


  • The Aalto University (Finland) Masters in Creative Sustainability is a joint programme of the three Aalto University schools: School of Business, School of Arts, Design and Architecture and School of Engineering. The learning outcomes and assessment give focus to: Systems approach: The ability to implement systemic thinking into critical problem solving that creates new holistic understanding about complex situations in society. The emphasis is on global awareness within the context of local communities and simultaneous modification of different aspects of sustainability. Design thinking: The ability to apply creative problem solving methods and tools in facilitating dialogs, defining problems, generating ideas and obtaining solutions. Project management: The ability to manage multidisciplinary teamwork and promote and discuss sustainability in culturally versatile industrial, urban and business environments. Sustainability management: The ability to develop new approaches for creating sustainable business models and to advance business ethics and corporate responsibility. Students are also to develop an understanding of the way that different organizational forms support the pursuits in sustainability.


  • First year students from areas like Product Design, Fashion Design, Interior Design, Engineering, Landscape Architecture and Agriculture courses work in work in cross disciplinary groups to produce tender documents for the restoration of specified local sites of historical/cultural significance or the establishment of sustainability oriented local initiatives like Blue Economy Projects which aim to make money out of waste.



  •  Students in a Blue Economy course (focused on how to make money out of waste) identify how to save ink in printing by using Gararmon type face (Using this was reported on ABC 702 3rd March 2016 at 4.15 as saving the US government up to $320m per annum). In another student developed sustainability and innovation project moths are attracted to lights on a low barge in a lake and become food for fish.


  • Leadership & entrepreneurship program: An assessment task which integrates learning into real world issues – ‘Develop an Ecopreneurship Business Plan’. Students are required to produce a Business Plan focusing on an entrepreneurial idea for an environmentally friendly product or serve. The operational concept for this assessment is ‘ecopreneurship’ (Isaak 2005) which refers to a type of entrepreneurship that focuses specifically on environmental sustainability. Environmental responsibility is defined for the purpose of the unit as a set of organisational initiatives designed to mitigate environmental degradation.
    As a team of savvy ecopreneurs, you have been hired by a large company to present a business plan for an environmentally friendly product or service. The presentation and the summary must encapsulate the strategic development of this product or service. Below are some suggestions of areas that could form the basis for your business plan:
    • Office recycling system
    • Solving the problem of E-Waste
    • Eco-efficiency project
    • Eco-efficiency Consulting
    • Green retrofitting
    • A sustainability joint venture
    • A renewable energy system (wind, solar, ocean, etc.)

For further details see: http://handbook.westernsydney.edu.au/hbook/unit.aspx?unit=200863.1
& http://handbook.westernsydney.edu.au/hbook/course.aspx?course=3725.1

provided by Western Sydney University

Technology & Entrepreneurship

  • Technology and entrepreneurship @ SFU. Over 2 years engineering and business students work together. Funded by BC Innovation Council and Simon Fraser University, business students undertake a beginners engineering course and the engineers do a beginning business course. Assessment involves developing a ‘pitch’ for a $25K prototype grant in a dragons den like competition. Assessment criteria focus on the quality of each individual’s contribution to the team, the quality of their ‘elevator pitch’, video and their final presentation along with the quality of individual reflection.

(Simon Fraser University)


  • In a fourth year seminar course on “Advanced Topics in Christianity” the class is divided into four groups, and each group is assigned a specific literary text (e.g., Thomas King’s ‘Green Grass’, ‘Running Water’). The problem they are then given is to design an undergraduate course on Christianity and modern literature featuring the text they had been assigned. Students are also required to submit reflective learning journals throughout the course.

To help students with their group task they are provided with resources from the University’s Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation (e.g., on course design, and methods of assessment). The final project comprises two key pieces:

  • An annotated syllabus that would be given to the instructor hired to teach the hypothetical course, including a list of resources the instructor would need to be sufficiently prepared;
  • A lecture on the assigned text that would be given to the imagined students who had enrolled in the hypothetical course.

(University of Toronto)

Tourism & Hospitality

Promotional videos and brochures custom-tailored to the particular needs and contexts of a range of island hotels and resorts.


Transdisciplinary Studies

  • Technology and entrepreneurship @ SFU. Over 2 years engineering and business students work together. Funded by BC Innovation Council and Simon Fraser University, business students undertake a beginners engineering course and the engineers do a beginning business course. Assessment involves developing a ‘pitch’ for a $25K prototype grant in a dragons den like competition. Assessment criteria focus on the quality of each individual’s contribution to the team, the quality of their ‘elevator pitch’, video and their final presentation along with the quality of individual reflection.

(Simon Fraser University)

  • Cross disciplinary assessment – Marketing students work with Engineering students on a project to invent and sell a workable, scalable and marketable robot – the prototypes are then publicly pitched and some have received funding. Assessment is based on a critical evaluation of the process of invention and cross-disciplinary collaboration, the success of the pitch and the outcomes achieved, along with the key lessons students will be taking with them for improved approaches in the next project


The ‘Question’
Toward the end of their "Foundation Program," Quest students take a course called "Question." While working with a course instructor and a faculty mentor of their choosing they develop a statement of their Question: a proposal for how they will study a topic of special interest to them.[4] This "Question" acts as the students major for their Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees and is much more similar to a master's thesis when compared to a standard undergraduate major.
Questions often range from being very broad to being very focused. For example; What is honour? What is beauty? What are the elements of successful habitat restoration? How can we manage infectious disease outbreaks? [4]
Questions are often framed in terms of several disciplinary approaches, key works and thinkers, or the sub-questions that will be addressed. This is largely based around the Foundation program's multidisciplinary approach.[4] This unique approach allows students to cater their academic research more closely with their academic interests. Each question is relatively unique to each Quest student thus providing a full range of academic pursuits and interests at the University.

Concentration program
The second half of the program is devoted to a "Concentration program". With the help of a faculty advisor, all students design their own program of concentration studies according to an interdisciplinary question or topic of research. Each student's Individual Concentration Program consists of four principal elements:

    • a statement of the Question
    • a course plan
    • a list of related readings; and
    • a Keystone project

The Concentration Program may also include experiential learning components such as a semester abroad, leadership    training, service learning, or an internship.
(Further details see: http://everything.explained.today/Quest_University/)