Problem definition as a stimulus to the creative process: Analysis of a classroom exercise

Renato Vizioli, Paulo Kaminski


Dealing with problem-solving has been a growing challenge in teaching engineering and over the career of these professionals. To increase the ability to understand a problem and consequently improve the quality of the solutions, an exercise was proposed to students of an MBA program, and they have experienced some challenges on interpreting briefing and procedures, to improve creativity and ability on solving problems. The implicit goal was to deal with the understanding of procedures to perform activities in a company and the exercise showed different ways of communicating a scenario and, consequently, different reactions depending upon the briefing. Preliminary results of the exercise indicated that the higher the degree of uncertainty on the problem definition or on an activity description, the more often association is attempted through individual repertoire, covering more varied options. In the case of a tight briefing, the creative effort appears to be overlapped by the execution of simple operations, resulting on a deviation from the required goal. Through a brief theoretical framework, this essay intends to validate these perceptions and increase the use of techniques that improve creative and problem-solving capacity in product design and development.


creativity, problem definition, design, briefing

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Technology and Science Education, 2011-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-6374; Print ISSN: 2014-5349; DL: B-2000-2012

Publisher: OmniaScience