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Good Ideas And How to Listen to Them, by Emily Spicer

This week I’ve been thinking about ideas. Where do the best ideas come from? Who do they come from? Does creative thinking just pop up from nowhere?

This musing has been very much grounded in my day-to-day reality over the last week. As part of the development of our new online courses (watch this space!), we’ve spent a week collaborating with some of our tutors and students to think big about how to produce a resource that really works for online learning.

Creative minds from as far apart as the UK and Armenia, Germany and India, came together to brainstorm, plan, and give feedback on ideas. As part of the initial brainstorming process we gave each individual space and time to write down and fully think through their ideas before sharing with the group.

The impact was incredible. With uninterrupted time and space to think, and to get ideas on to paper, without the loudest voices cutting in and overpowering, the group produced a fantastic array of diverse and high-quality creative ideas. Without that time and space, it is likely that the group would have focused in on one idea early on, led by the loudest voice, and we would have lost a wealth of possible innovative solutions.

Similarly, later in the process, when students provided feedback, they were asked to think individually within a small group guided context about their thoughts and ideas. Their ideas then fed into a collaborative map of suggestions for improvement and change, which we never could have produced alone.

This week has reminded me once again that a group of creative, critical minds is better than one, but only** if we really listen and give each voice space**. We want to keep putting our students at the heart of everything we do, so that our courses are not just developed for you, the student, but by you too. So we want to make sure that we keep creating space to listen to your voices, and your ideas.

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Summary

Where do the best ideas come from? Who do they come from? Does creative thinking just pop up from nowhere? Read Emily Spicer's latest discussion here. 

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