Increasing creative self-efficacy: Developing the confidence of biochemistry undergraduates to innovate

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Biochemistry graduates need to be creative, however assessing creativity requires the production of novelty, judged by or against that of peers. A related phenomenon is ‘creative self-efficacy’ (CSE) – one's self-belief in producing creative outcomes. CSE is a contributor to creativity, but is more easily assessed, and thus more amenable for targeting pedagogically. To investigate interactions between student CSE and the learning environment, a biochemistry laboratory exercise was deployed within a ‘creative’ module, wherein students created their own experimental protocols. Students completed questionnaires at the beginning and end of the module. Compared to ‘control’ modules lacking overtly creative activities, the creative module significantly increased students' perceptions of their own creativity and whether their studies had increased their creativity. Students' confidence in meeting degree learning outcomes (for instance the ability to work productively in a laboratory), and motivation to study, were also significantly increased. Marks attained from the creative exercise correlated with students' CSE, but surprisingly, students' expected marks correlated negatively with their CSE, implying they had a poor understanding of the relationship between creativity and success. Our results suggest that the learning environment can positively affect students' CSE, promoting academic attainment of learning outcomes, motivation, and their confidence as biochemists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-306
Number of pages11
JournalBiochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Issue number3
Early online date23 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2022


  • creativity
  • employability
  • innovation
  • social scaffolding
  • Learning
  • Self Efficacy
  • Students
  • Humans
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Creativity


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