A new model to evaluate and train youngsters' creativity

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The evaluation and cultivation of Chinese innovative adolescents should pay more attention to psychological personality and cognitive ability, which are the core of innovative quality, according to an article lately published on Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

With the title of “Construct new pattern of evaluating and training youngsters’ creativity,” the article was written by Zhang Dongmei, Institute of Automation, CAS, and Xu Yanlong, China Science Publishing & Media Group Ltd.

The article introduces the current situation of innovative quality training and assessment practice in some countries. It finds that although they have unique characteristics in different countries, the innovative ability cultivation presents the general tendency of comprehensively cultivating and assessing students’ innovative quality through practical projects, while trying to avoid the negative impact of the exam-oriented education model. In China, a systematic innovative quality assessment methodology in place for adolescents is urgently needed. Thus a new model of innovative quality assessment and training is proposed in this article, with an aim to change the traditional evaluation system and promote the innovative quality cultivation of Chinese youth.

The innovative quality in this study mainly covers two aspects: innovation ability and innovation personality. Innovative ability is the intelligent feature of innovation, which includes innovative consciousness, innovative practice, self-driven ability and environment adaptability. Innovative personality is personality characteristics with relatively stable non-intellectual factors, which includes the consciousness, emotion, will, belief, mission, and value orientation of innovation. “Specifically, it is manifested in curiosity, question consciousness, questioning spirit, enterprising spirit, pursuit of true knowledge, strong sense of mission, and perseverance,” the article explains.

This study constructs an innovation ability development and evaluation model that serves adolescents of different ages, which covers multi-methods and is all-round, standardized, and extensible. This new model features a multi-dimensional assessment system on the basis of mature paradigms and scales in the cognitive science and psychology. It adopts the loop iteration method of “assessment–training–assessment–training” to achieve long-term tracking of adolescents’ cognitive growth and can achieve personalized and goal-oriented potential development of adolescents.

The new model serves to train youngsters with innovative quality. The related training and assessment should be launched mainly from the psychological personality (innovative personality) and cognitive ability (innovative ability), which are the core of innovative quality. Accordingly, the article proposes a toolbox for the training and assessment of adolescents’ innovative quality, covering psychological assessment paradigms and basic cognitive ability assessment paradigms. Different combinations of subjective and objective, on-line and off-line, individual and group assessments are designed. “In details, objective assessment means the computer-based online assessment; subjective assessment refers to expert questioning on the spot; individual assessment mainly involves personal ability evaluation combining computer and expert assessments; group assessment addresses group collaboration ability (i.e., the planning, organizing, and socializing abilities of each member), with emphasis on evaluation of innovative personality, and is carried out in a manner of on-the-spot subjective assessment,” it elaborates.

The training and assessment toolbox contains four parts, namely assessment and training case base module, assessment analysis algorithm module, personalized training module and innovative quality improvement module. A validation experiment was held online across China. A total of 7,449 volunteers participated in the experiment, with 5,063 valid results collected. “The value of data lies in better portraying basic quality profile, optimizing innovative quality assessment, and planning the improvement path of students. The efficiency of the data-driven innovative talent assessment and training will be improved. For instance, on the basis of students’ data feedback in the innovative quality assessment, students will receive assessment model-based real-time diagnosis and then a self-adaptive adjusted assessment program so that their problems or deficiencies can be pinpointed. Or, on the basis of the knowledge graph and data recommendation technique in the innovative quality training, appropriate learning content is recommended to students so that they can have access to personalized learning path and methods,” the article indicates.

Considering the comprehensiveness, expansibility and age-sensitivity characteristics of innovative quality, the new pattern of evaluating and training youngsters’ creativity can serve as a useful complement to the examination-oriented education system. The students who accomplish the training and assessment of a certain innovative quality can be awarded a corresponding level of certificate, the article suggests.

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