Professor Kristen Letts Kovak Awarded Wimmer Faculty Fellowship
Professor Kristen Letts Kovak was awarded the 2016/17 Wimmer Faculty Fellowship for the Development of Teaching from CMU’s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation for redeveloping “Drawing for Non-Majors.” Her project is titled “Making Creativity Concrete: Methodologies for Open-Ended Innovation.”
In “Drawing for Non-Majors,” most students excel at developing their technical drawing skills, but many are reluctant to integrate creative risk-taking into their assignments. Moreover, creativity is seldom explicitly taught in art courses, since creative skills tend to be assumed and ubiquitous in art schools. Professor Kovak intends to redesign this course to help students approach open-ended assignments by initiating their own experimentation, rather than relying on asking the instructor for constant guidance and “permission.” By revising the course assignments to include concrete cues, and by integrating research-based methods in teaching creativity, promoting self-efficacy, and encouraging a growth mindset, Kristen hopes to foster creative growth and help students become comfortable with ambiguity and risk-taking.