Practice Papers

Document Type

Conference Paper


This study explores the influence of an interdisciplinary intervention on creative problem-solving skills. Literature deems such skills as vital for software engineering (SE) students in higher education. 39 SE students and graphic design (GD) students were randomly paired to work on an open-ended creative coding assignment in p5.js, an online JS-based Processing editor that makes it easy for novices to quickly and easily code visual webpages. Three categories were formed: the test group SE+GD (18 students), and control groups SE+SE (10) and GD+GD (11).

A mixed methods approach was taken to gather and interpret results: Amabile's Consensual Assessment Technique provided a global creativity score for the finished product, the Creative Programming Problem Solving Test assessed three dimensions of the creative process (Ability, Mindset, Interaction), and 9 semi-structured follow-up interviews provided context and revealed underlying themes. The results indicate that, while the creativity of the end product initially takes a hit, the SE+GD groups' sociointeractive creativity levels increased. We also observed fixed mindsets towards creativity ("design students are more creative than we") that call for future work.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.