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Imperial College London

Creative Thinking: Techniques and Tools for Success

Imperial College London via Coursera


In today’s ever-growing and changing world, being able to think creatively and innovatively are essential skills. It can sometimes be challenging to step back and reflect in an environment which is fast paced or when you are required to assimilate large amounts of information. Making sense of or communicating new ideas in an innovative and engaging way, approaching problems from fresh angles, and producing novel solutions are all traits which are highly sought after by employers. This course will equip you with a ‘tool-box’, introducing you to a selection of behaviours and techniques that will augment your innate creativity. Some of the tools are suited to use on your own and others work well for a group, enabling you to leverage the power of several minds. You can pick and choose which of these tools or techniques suit your needs and interests, focusing on some or all of the selected approaches and in the order that fits best for you. The practical approach of this course enables you to acquire an essential skill-set for generating ideas, with plenty of: - Fun e-tivities and exercises; - Practical lectures and tips; - Video representations of the techniques in action. By the end of this course you should be able to: - Pick a type of brainstorming you think will be useful to apply to a challenge - Use alphabet brainstorming in tackling a challenge - Use grid brainstorming in tackling a challenge - Use a morphological chart to synthesise a solution to a challenge - Use the TRIZ contradiction matrix to identify recommended inventive principles - Apply SCAMPER to a range of challenges The greatest innovators aren’t necessarily the people who have the most original idea. Often, they are people- or teams- that have harnessed their creativity to develop a new perspective or more effective way of communicating an idea. You can train your imagination to seize opportunities, break away from routine and habit, and tap into your natural creativity. Join this course and a community of practitioners in CREATIVITY!


  • Introduction to the Principles of Creativity
    • In the first week, we focus on the basic principles of creativity and highlight its importance in tackling global challenges. Creativity is explored and applied at two different levels, lower and higher-level creativity.
  • Creativity Tools
    • In this week, we will look at how we can augment our creativity using different methods of Brainstorming, a creativity approach that aids the generation of ideas in solving a stated problem. We particularly focus on the application of brainstorming tools in group activities, with the aim of enabling you to understand, evaluate and apply different types of brainstorming techniques in your own context.
  • Thinking Styles
    • There are many thinking styles which can be helpful in creativity. We will focus on the principles as well as application of a variety of thinking approaches that can be used at both at an individual level and in a group, under various professional and personal situations, allowing you to develop competency and accelerate proficiency in the use of some different thinking styles.
  • Morphological Analysis
    • You will become familiar with the Principles of Morphological Analysis and learn how to apply it in various life scenarios, from design to developing movie plot-lines, whilst developing a more systematic approach to idea generation.
  • TRIZ - the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving
    • In week 5, we continue to enhance your fluency, flexibility and originality of idea generation by introducing you to another creativity tool called the theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ). We will particularly focus on application of TRIZ and the TRIZ Contradiction Matrix and how it can be used in problem, both at an individual and in group level.
    • This week, we will introduce you to the final creativity tool in the course and its importance in generation of ideas and improvement of the existing ones; SCAMPER. You will become familiar with the concepts of SCAMPER and gain proficiency in its application in various unusual, personal or professional situations, whilst inspiring related ideas.
  • Using the Tools in Combination
    • Now that you have mastered a wide range of creativity tools and developed competency in their application over a wide range of situations and domains, we will wrap up by asking you to use these tool in combinations and apply these in context and scenarios that are also related to your own discipline or context. This will help you reinforce the concepts that you have learnt so far and enable you to use the creativity tools freely in problem solving and idea generation.

Taught by

Peter Childs


4.8 rating, based on 14 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 4228 ratings

Start your review of Creative Thinking: Techniques and Tools for Success

  • I took this course to help me think more creatively. The toolkit offered in this course, along with the exercises, were very helpful in teaching my brain to approach problem solving using different frameworks. It is especially helpful, I think, for those of us who think that we are not naturally creative.
    I have been able to already make use of some of the concepts in the course in my work.
  • Abril.rdz
    I loved the course! Peter is great at delivering the information and it's a great overview to start your creativity journey. I didn't consider myself as a "creative" person before taking this course but now I think I can totally develop this skill, I just need practice and continue learning about it. Highly recommend.
  • Anonymous
    Amazing course for gaining knowledge and skills , great to start ,earned more confidence and presentation skill, also I hope I can place my knowledge to different situations and problems for solutions
  • Anonymous
    Completed this course was really interesting and well presented by Peter Child. Unfortunately, I was asked to pay before I get my certificate which was supposed to be free *smiles*
  • Profile image for Anna D
    Anna D
    This course will familiarise you with a few tools to boost your creativity in both individual and team settings. Each week a new strategy will be introduced, the methods are very well explained and become clear with the detailed examples offered. It is vital to participate in the discussion forums, share ideas, and complete the assignments in order to get a true understanding of the tools and to start incorporating them into your life.
    This course can be useful for either personal development, business environment or any social situation which requires a generation of ideas. It can help with decision-making and it's generally an interesting topic to follow.
  • Sagar Ladhwani
    The course was really interesting. Anyone who has a preconception that Creativity is inherent and can't be learned must take this course.

    It opened up such wide range of techniques and tools that will be of great help to everyone no matter what domain or industry they come from!

    The best part was the video formats which were mostly group sessions (unlike other MOOCs with passive video watching of instructors teaching) and special mention needs to be made for the assignments, they were really engaging and Creative (xD)!

    I'd recommend this course to everyone!
  • Diego Hernández
    This course is an introduction to 5 creativity techniques: brainstorming, Six Hats, morphological analysis, TRIZ and SCAMPER. These techniques can be used for problem solving, design and decision making.
  • Profile image for Subodh Talukder
    Subodh Talukder
    An eye opening course on Creative Thinking. The course content and delivery was coherent and covered almost every aspects at the level, the course has been set up to. Sincere gratitude to Professor Peter Childs and his team at London Imperial College.
  • Anonymous
    High level designed, professional,unusual, very interesting course. l liked it very much and got my certificate! If you want to develop your skills, go to the next level, l highly recommend.
  • This course made TRIZ and SCAMPER not so intimidating. Perfect for beginners. I love this course! Thank you Imperial College London , Class Central , and Coursera!
  • Very good course smart work is creativity. Hard work is life change. Creativity thinking techniques and tools for success. The power of life energy of life

  • Anonymous
    Kursus ini dapat menambah wawasan dan pengetahuan saya tentang berpikir kreatif dan cara agar sukses
  • Great training about creative thinking. Thanks to it I have learned new tools which I can use to increase the creativity. One of the things that I like a lot was a assignment to create film plot.
  • Maria Clara Mathias
    The course teaches you some creativity tools and techniques. I think it was a little short and it could have been more deep. It was nice and I liked it!

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