Can Creativity Be Taught and Used to Solve Problems?

October 21, 2020
5 Minutes
This week with had 3 guests who have joined forces to share their passion, skills, and experiences, teaching others to be innovative and think creatively.

You: "I’m not very creative” “Yes you ARE!”

Kevin Thorn, Karl Kapp, and Deb Thomas are the creators of Stepaway.Design, a project that believes it can help you and your team to find solutions to business problems using YOUR creativity.  

And yes, you have it. They can help you find it. Foster it. And apply to your job and your life.

This episode of IDIODC was filled with great advice from all three guests. I’m certain you’ll be motivated just hearing them talk about it, but the conversation will also move you towards a new understanding of how creativity REALLY works.  

We talked about the creative power of boredom, the value of working with your hands, and combining seemingly unrelated thoughts, ideas, concepts, to create something new.  

And even how not “working” can often be the most productive part of your day.  That’s when your mind is free to explore neuropathways outside of the focus area of your business problems.  

And by randomly moving through your subconscious freely in different ways you will discover creative solutions that were not available to you before.  

You can view the full archive recording which includes the chat comments here.  

About Karl Kapp

Karl M. Kapp, Ed.D., is an award-winning professor of Instructional Technology at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA. where he teaches instructional game design, gamification classes and online learning design.  He is the Director of Bloomsburg’s Institute for Interactive Technologies and is recognized internationally as an expert in the application of games, game-thinking and gamification to learning. Karl earned his doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

He is currently a senior researcher on a grant sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which involves the application of microlearning and gamification to help childcare workers identify child abuse. Karl has previously served as a Co-Principle Investigator on two National Science Foundation (NSF) grants related to games and simulations. Karl is an advisor for several EdTech start up companies.

Karl has authored or co-authored eight books including “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction,” it’s accompanying fieldbook and the widely popular, “Play to Learn.” His latest co-authored book with Robyn Defelice is “Microlearning: Short and Sweet.” Karl is author of ten LinkedIn Learning courses including “Learning How to Increase Learner Engagement” and has been a TEDx speaker. In 2019, he received the ATD Distinguished Contribution to Talent Development Award. The award is presented in recognition of an exceptional contribution that has had a sustained impact on field of the talent development.

Karl’s work explores the research, theoretical foundations and practical application of gamification, game-thinking and activity-based learning to organizational performance issues. His goal is to help organizations create engaging learning experiences through intelligent, research-based application of instructional strategies and techniques. He shares his expertise and knowledge through consulting, workshops and one-on-one mentoring with start-up firms, Fortune 100 companies and various governmental agencies.

About Kevin Thorn

Kevin is an award-winning elearning designer & developer, consultant, and owner of NuggetHead Studioz, LLC., a boutique custom design and development studio specializing in online learning experiences.

After retiring from the U.S. Army, Kevin pursued a career in corporate IT and Training & Development. With his combined military and industry experience, Kevin started the Studioz in 2012 working with clients in various industries solving problems in a wide range of creative projects. Based in the North Mississippi Delta, Kevin, harnesses a bench of creative practitioners in instructional design, elearning development, illustration and graphic design, animation, and serious comics to develop innovative solutions. Kevin is a well-known industry speaker and trainer on elearning development, design workflows, and is a certified facilitator in LEGO® Serious Play® methodologies

Kevin holds a BS in Information Technology Management from Christian Brothers University, MS in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Memphis where he also teaches and is in the Instructional and Curriculum Leadership EdD program. He can be found on Twitter as @LearnNuggets, on LinkedIn, or around learning and development communities teaching and facilitating workshops where he writes articles, reviews and shares tutorials.

About Deb Thomas

Deb is President of Silly Monkey

In 2005 Deborah Thomas founded SillyMonkey, LLC, a game-based learning boutique that works with corporate clients to design difficult concepts in a fun and memorable way through the playful but effective use of board games, video games and virtual worlds that she creates. Her motto: “Learn fast, remember more and have fun doing it.”

As a public education teacher at one of the worst performing schools in the country, she drove her students’ SAT scores up 30 % by using innovative techniques. Previous professional board roles: North American Simulation and Gaming Association, Atlanta ATD, and Georgia Game Developers Association.


Instructional Designers in Offices Drinking Coffee (affectionately known as IDIODC) is a weekly live videocast and podcast that helps instructional designers with pain points and provides best practices and industry insight.  

Every Wednesday morning at 10am ET hosts Brent Schlenker and Chris Van Wingerden guide us through an upbeat and candid conversation with their guests from the elearning and training world. The live cast session encourages peers to participate in the chat and share their own personal insight! After airing live, you can catch the learning podcast on all major streams such as Spotify, Apple and Google Play podcasts, as well as on YouTube.