June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Design in Engineering Education
Assessment of a University Makerspace Using a Quantitative and Qualitative Student Survey
This research paper focuses on the assessment of a makerspace at the University of Pittsburgh through the use of a student survey designed to answer whether the space is achieving its goals and how it is impacting users. As the rate of technological and societal change continues to increase, further emphasis is being placed on training skilled engineers, and calls for changes in engineering education to better prepare engineers for the future have been made.
One approach institutions have taken towards achieving this is through the use of makerspaces. Anecdotal and indirect evidence support the use of these facilities to improve engineering skills in students.
The makerspace of interest was built two years ago employing many of the best practices used at other institutions, and is also an integral part of a larger program at the university. To date, minimal data has been collected concerning the efficacy of the makerspace.
To assess the makerspace, an anonymous survey comprised of Likert scale items, open-ended questions, and other quantitative questions was distributed electronically to both undergraduate and graduate engineering students. It asked students to rate statements about the makerspace related to its mission, and to rate statements about how using the space has improved different aspects of themselves.
The results of the survey showed that the makerspace appears to be achieving its goals and is functioning as part of the university’s efforts to increase student innovation and entrepreneurship. It showed that students feel using the makerspace has had positive effects on them, especially their creative thinking and ability to work on a team. It also revealed what aspects of the facility could potentially be improved. This evaluation contributes to the increasing body of knowledge on makerspace practices and potential impact on students.
Dosse, L. A., & Mena, I. B., & Clark, W. W. (2019, June), Assessment of a University Makerspace Using a Quantitative and Qualitative Student Survey Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32125
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