For those that know me, creativity is very important to me, both professional and personally. So though I know it is impossible to generalize, are you able to speak to what kind of value there is placed on creativity as a designer working at home and in working with companies or organizations? After rich collaboration with SMEs and other stakeholders, how much leeway do I really have? Are there jobs I should lean toward to which are more open than others? Sure, some jobs certainly offer more creativity than others. I admit, I don’t find developing software simulations to be particularly rewarding, for example, because there often is not a ton of creativity, unless I add some sort of scenario based or game based mechanics to compliment it. When I work with most clients though, most of the time they are pretty open to creative approaches. I work with a lot of people who have no experience with online learning, so they generally are open to my expertise as far as how to use the technology creatively. There are exceptions; some RTOs/TAFEs/Unis are simple and really just want to record their classes, have discussions, and give some sort of simple test/assessment. With companies/organisations, from my experience it varies quite a bit. I have found some are really interested in doing innovative things with training. For example, one course I wrote last year includes branching video scenarios, where learners watch a video and then make decisions as a “choose your own adventure.” The choices they make affect how people respond and what videos they see next. It was a lot of creative writing and storytelling to put learners in a real context. In general, more conservative industries like banking and insurance tend to value creativity less, and more innovative industries like technology tend to value creativity more. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote this cool article that sums up my personality to a tee, feel free to read it when you get a chance. I think it is very important we all need to embrace our inner creative. I remember reading about this study that supported an existing theory about intelligence, saying that general intelligence is based on the brain’s ability to pull together and integrate various kinds of processing, such as working memory. Creativity is just basically connecting things. When you ask any creative person how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something and adapted it for their needs. I admit, that is what I do.

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