Scientific Programme
Year 2021
October 2021


Abstract Title
A feasibility study investigating online collaborative creativity in medical education during Covid-19



Nanyang Technological University1

Background & Hypothesis

Covid-19 presented a new challenge for medical schools as it affected traditional teaching methods for educating learners. Concurrently, there is an increasing demand for graduates to work collaboratively and exercise open-ended creativity to address healthcare problems during their professional career. However, medical students lacked these skills due to limited opportunities to explore in a highly structured curriculum. This study aimed to develop and test the feasibility of a novel framework for online collaborative creativity (FLOCC) in medical education.


FLOCC was adapted from three collaborative learning approaches – team and problem-based learning and rapid design thinking. It depended on creating a wicked creativity problem relevant to the 21st century. FLOCC contained asynchronous individual activities (empathy map, frame your challenge, insights and ‘how might we’ questions, and individual brainstorming) made available through a project website. It also contained synchronous team activities (Bundle and listing final ideas and constraints, prototyping and blind testing) facilitated through an online conferencing event (Microsoft Teams).


The feasibility study was voluntarily attended by seven undergraduate medical students (Male = 3, Female = 4; Ages 20 – 22; Years 1 and 2; AY 2020-21). All students perceived FLOCC as useful for fostering collaborative creativity skills, and three felt that they went beyond the set activities. Text analysis discovered five key drivers of FLOCC namely structure, team dynamics, technical capabilities, role of facilitator and psychological barriers of students.

Discussion & Conclusion

These findings have potential on the learning and development of collaborative creativity skills and design thinking among undergraduate or postgraduate students.