June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Design in Engineering Education
A Classification System for Higher Education Makerspaces
Makerspaces exist in a variety of forms on college campuses. The terms “academic makerspaces” and “higher education makerspaces” are used interchangeably to distinguish these spaces and their users from those that exist in industry, K-12 schools, and within communities as non-profit and for-profit entities. Over the last decade, many forms of higher education makerspaces were established for a variety of purposes. It is proposed that standardized nomenclature be developed to structure discussions about and comparisons between higher education makerspaces. This paper proposes a classification system for higher education makerspaces and applies the proposed classifications to existing spaces. The classification system indicates the purpose of the space and includes indices for the space’s accessibility, population, size, and staffing. While noting that interpretation differences can result from system-wide generalizations, the concepts of categories and classes are routinely applied in nearly all fields to assimilate data and make comparisons. The higher education makerspace community is now large enough to benefit from an enterprise-wide classification system. It is suggested that such a classification system will be helpful to improve current spaces and guide the development of future spaces.
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