Assessing Creativity

As computing education has become more popular in K–12 and more educators share a commitment to supporting creativity through programming, questions have surfaced about how to assess the beautiful and complex learning that is taking place in classrooms. However, we also know that there are K–12 teachers—across the country, around the world—who are supporting creative practice in the classroom every day and have found thoughtful and imaginative ways of assessing creative work.

In this project, we were guided by a central question: How do K-12 computing teachers assess creative programming work? During the summer of 2019, we talked to 80 K–12 computing teachers across the U.S. about how they support and assess creative work in programming activities. In our conversations, typically between two teachers and a member of our team, teachers brought examples of assessments from their teaching, which served as the foundation for a broader discussion about creativity, programming, and assessment.

In our report, you will find some of the stories, strategies, and reflections that teachers shared with us, as well as 50 assessments teachers have been using in their classrooms.

Additional Readings and Resources
  • Brennan, K., Blum-Smith, S., & Haduong, P. (2021). Four principles for assessing student-directed projects. Phi Delta Kappan, 103(4), 44–48.
  • Understanding Creativity, HGSE Usable Knowledge article about the launch of the report in 2020
  • Haduong, P., & Brennan, K. (2020). Talking in pairs: Learning from and with teachers through artifact-based dyadic interviews. In M. Gresalfi & I. S. Horn (Eds), Proceedings of The International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020: Vol. 4 (pp. 2369–2370). PDF
This work was made possible with support from Google CS-ER Grant No. 93661905.