Mapping the minds of the students

Recently I started teaching at the German Jordanian University and wanted to experiment some new techniques in teaching and introduce new study approach for students. As a result, the students developed the following drawings and diagrams.

 

Those drawings were not produced by art nor graphics design students, they were developed by students of the management and logistics school. The drawings represent mind maps of one of the chapters they studied. All students can be creative and produce artistic works to utilize them for studying.

“A mind map is a diagram used to visually organise information. A mind map is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank landscape page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map

Mind maps help in two main areas:

  • Learning and memorizing

Where the mind map stimulates both sides of the brain / thinking and creates associations between the items to be learned and memorized with visual, colorful and artistic images or drawings.

  • Creativity and ideas generation

Where the mind map stimulates the brain to radiate outside the core idea and explore new areas through creating association between current ideas and new ideas by unleashing and utilizing the power of both sides of the brain / thinking

There are lots of resources and examples describing how the mind maps help in both areas. One of them is in my slideshare site

In the experiment I wanted to check the effect of mind map development on learning improvements. For that I asked the students to summarize one of the chapters from the text book as an extra work. I was also asking the students to review the in class case studies and summarize them in mind map format to discuss and analyze them. Not to mention that I used to draw some mind maps during some lectures.

 

The drawings shown in this article are examples of students’ works summarizing some chapters of the Marketing, Technology Management and Social Entrepreneurship courses. The students had the freedom to prepare the mind maps on computer software or by drawing them on papers.

 

Although some drawings show that some students were taking the process seriously and hopefully improved their understanding and memorizing the subjects, but I had no clear tool to measure the possible improvements. For that as a following step, this experiment should be improved through introducing measurement and validation tool to check the change in the results of the students before and after utilizing the mind map process.

 

During the same period I had the chance to deliver a workshop on mind mapping and creativity to group of university students and fresh graduates volunteers who are participating in youth coaching program. Although the participants were excited, but some of them who know about the mind maps previously from their school time, told me that they tried to learn from mind maps and that was not helpful for them and they find it difficult to memorize. I investigated about this issue with them and I found out that their schools teachers used to summarize the lessons in mind map format/drawing and gave them to the students to learn from.

This was the problem; the mind maps were prepared and given to the students. Although this might look nice and the mind map were drawn in good way and summarized the lessons or books with high quality, but this approach misses the core concept of mind map. Mind maps are not much about the final result / map; they are about the process of creating the map. The process helps in writing down the words, creating the associations, adding the images and colors, all that will stimulate the brain and not the final drawing.

 

Finally it is important for the students to continue preparing and developing mind maps as one time only will not generate the expected results, it is like training in the gym, one visit to the gym  will make you tiered, but frequent visits will improve your health and body. And remember, watching the trainer will not help you if you do not practice.

Barriers of Applying Gained Knowledge of Training Programs in Organizations

Barriers of Applying Gained Knowledge of Training Programs in Organizations

A presentation delivered at 3rd Symposium with the theme “Professional Training in Developing Human Capital”, 17-18 September 2013, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia organized by King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital

 

Presentation abstract

Capacity building programs aim to provide the human resources of organizations with the right knowledge that will enable them to perform their tasks, improve their skills and capabilities to innovate in their activities. Although all kind of trainings (on the job, public, etc.) help in providing the knowledge and skills, but still organizations may suffer from the lack of applying the gained knowledge in achieving the tasks, not to mention the lack of creativity spirit.
This is because the lack of knowledge and skills are not the only barriers in utilizing the knowledge in organizations. Such novel skills and knowledge to organizations are considered as changes or innovations and have more barriers than the lack of knowledge (do not know) which is the first barrier in overcoming innovations. The other three barriers are the lack of will (not willing to do), the lack of capability (cannot do) and the lack of permission (not allowed). Although these four barriers might seem trivial, but the lack of knowledge is the easiest to identify through training need assessment and get solved. The other barriers involve several factors that cannot be easily identified without understanding the organizational culture, strategies, or policies. Even if these barriers are identified, trainings alone can solve them.
In order to identify those barriers, they must be included in the training or capacity building need assessment process where:
– The lack of capabilities in general can be identified through the availability of human and financial resources and can be overcome through providing those resources.
– The lack of permission can be identified through the organizational culture, policies and regulations which can be overcome by changing the organizational policies to utilize the gained knowledge.
– The lack of willing can be identified with personal characteristics or needs which can be overcome by identifying those needs and reducing their effects.
– The lack of knowledge can be recognized through the traditional training need assessment which identifies the technical knowledge and offer the right training program.

In my presentation I will highlight the different four barriers and how they can be identified. I will discuss the opportunities of overcoming them to complement the training and knowledge acquisition as part of the capacity building programs. Besides that I will show case one of my capacity building projects and how I utilized the four-barriers concept to develop that program.

 

Symposium Program

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 Presentation

لجنة مشاريع التخرج تقيم ورشة عمل علمية علاقة مشاريع التخرج والصناعة والابتكار

Quote

قامت لجنة الأشراف على مشاريع التخرج في نقابة المهندسين بعقد ورشة عمل علمية الأولى من نوعها لطلبة السنة الخامسة من كليات الهندسة في الجامعة الاردنية بعنوان ” علاقة مشاريع التخرج والصناعة والإبتكار ” .

” وكتأكيد على مفهوم الابداع في المشاريع قام م.جميل الخطيب المستشار في الابداع بتقديم ورقته”

 لكامل المقالة زيارة الموقع

http://www.jea.org.jo/route.php?src=sub_news&sub_news_id=6341

Innovation and Creativity stimulation in organizations

“Innovation and Creativity stimulation in organizations” A workshop delivered at 3rd Symposium with the theme “Professional Training in Developing Human Capital”, 17-18 September 2013, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia organized by King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital

 

Workshop abstract

Siemens, Toyota, IKEA, Google, Apple, TATA, P&G and Skype are some of the most successful companies in the world; nevertheless they are among the top innovative companies.  Those companies managed to reach to this stage not only through investment but also through stimulating systematically creativity and innovation in their organizations.

Thinking out of the box and creativity cannot be implemented by demanding employees to do so, because of the nature of human thinking which can be creative only under suitable environment and the right conditions.

This workshop will discuss how creativity of employees can be stimulated through policies, methods and processes.

تحفيزالإبتكار والإبداع في المؤسسات
وسايب هي بعض من أكر TATA، P & G ، وجوجل، وأبل ،IKEA ، سمنز، تويوتا
الركات نجاحا في العالم، ومن أكر الركات المبتكرة . تمكنت تلك الركات
للوصول إلى هذه المرحلة ليس فقط من خال الاستثمار ولكن أيضا من خال
تحفز الإبداع والابتار بشل منهي في منظماتهم.
التفكر خارج الصندوق والإبداع لا يمكن تحقيقها من خال الطلب من الموظفن
أن يبدعوا . حيث أن طبيعة التفكر البري يمكنها أن تبدع فقط حال توفر البيئة
المناسبة والظروف الملائمة والصحيحة.
ورشة العمل هذه ستناقش كيف يمكن تحفز إبداع الموظفن من خال السياسات
والإجراءات والمفاهم.

 

Symposium Program

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Creative thinking program for schools

Creative thinking program

“Thinking is a skill; it can be developed and improved if one knows how”- Edward de Bono

Introduction:

The purpose of thinking is to collect information and to make the best possible use of it. Because of the way the mind works to crate fixed concept patterns we cannot make the best use of new information unless we have some means for restructuring the old patterns and bringing them up to date. Our traditional methods of thinking teach us how to refine such patterns and establish their validity. But we shall always make less than the best use of available information unless we know how to create new patterns and escape from the dominance of the old ones. Vertical thinking is concerned with proving or developing concept patterns. Lateral thinking is concerned with restructuring such patterns (insight) and provoking new ones (which we can call creativity). Lateral and vertical thinking are complementary. Skill in both is necessary. Yet the emphasis in education has always been exclusively on vertical thinking (critical and logical thinking).

In order to practice the Lateral Thinking, De Bono was the first to suggest several methods such as the six thinking hats which supports the human mind to look at problems from new perspectives, which enables finding solutions to problems in different ways and create ideas for novel products.

This creative thinking program will help the youth to learn the creative thinking and how to stimulate their minds to look at problems in different ways to find non-traditional solutions.

Through the course not only techniques related to lateral thinking and six thinking hats will be used but also other techniques will be discussed such as mind maps that can help to visualize the thinking to focus and have overall view of problems.

In order to have creative thinking it is important to be able to collect wide range of information and remember them on demand. For that memory enhancement tools will be studied using creative thinking techniques such as mind maps for visualization and imagination.

Moreover creative thinking is used to generate ideas and solutions for that within this program, some techniques will be discussed to generate new ideas such as brain storming and random words to switch the thinking context. All that will be combined within the six thinking hats technique.

Program objectives

  • Introduce creative thinking techniques (Lateral thinking and six thinking hats method, etc.)
  • Introduce how the creativity can be learned, practiced and stimulated on demand
  • Increase the motivation of the youth to solve problems in creative ways

Target group

 kids of age 14-16 years old

Contents

  • Thinking, creativity and minds
  • Creativity barriers
  • Creativity Techniques
    • Mind maps
    • Lateral and Vertical Thinking
  • Creativity and memory enhancement
  • Ideas Generation techniques
    • Brain storming sessions
    • Random words
  • Six Thinking Hats
    • White Hat (Facts and Information)
    • Red Hat (Emotions and Feelings)
    • Black Hat (Cautious and Careful)
    • Yellow Hat (Speculative-Positive)
    • Green Hat (Creative Thinking)
    • Blue Hat (Control of Thinking)

Sessions:

The program was conducted for 2 groups of distinguished kids of Jerusalem schools in June 2013.

Selected slides of the program:

مواضيع برنامج التفكير الابداعي لطلبة المدارس

–          الإبداع ومعوقاته

–           تقنيات الإبداع

–         الخرائط الذهنية

–         التفكير العمودي والجانبي

–         تطبيقات التفكير الجانبي

–         الابداع وتنمية الذاكرة

–          تقنيات توليد الأفكارو حل المشاكل

–         العصف الذهني

–         الكلمات العشوائية

–         قبعات التفكير الست

–          القبعة البيضاء (الحقائق ومعلومات)

–         القبعة الحمراء (المشاعر وعواطف)

–          القبعة السوداء (الحذر والحرص)

–          القبعة الصفراء (الإيجابية)

–          القبعة الخضراء (التفكير الإبداعي)

–          القبعة الزرقاء (مراقبة التفكير)

Lessons from the Puzzle of Innovation

In the last few weeks I was under stress and wanted to relax and do something I have not done for many years. I thought of many things and looked around the home without finding anything interesting that might be relaxing.

While I was looking at my library of books, I noticed on the top shelf an old box that I bought for more than 7 years but never opened. It is a Jigsaw Puzzle, in box, with a picture on the top of a country side view with trees and houses. I opened the box and just started putting the pieces together and piece by piece solving it. It was surprisingly fun and relaxing. Puzzles have grown into a daily activity for me.

So what this has to do with innovation?

continue reading the article on Innovation Excellence website