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Board 147: Learning in Academic Makerspaces: Preliminary Case Studies of How Academic Makerspaces Afford Learning for Female Students

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29948

Download Count

50

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Paper Authors

biography

Megan Tomko Georgia Institute of Technology

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Megan E. Tomko is a Ph.D. graduate student in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology under the guidance of Dr. Julie Linsey. She completed one semester in her graduate studies at James Madison University with Dr. Robert Nagel as her advisor. Her B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering is from the University of Pittsburgh where she also worked as a Field Telecommunications Intern for three consecutive summers at EQT, a natural gas company headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, PA. Megan’s research interests correspond to identifying ways to teach students how to become better designers and learners through creative and non-traditional means.

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Robert L. Nagel James Madison University

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Dr. Robert Nagel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. Dr. Nagel joined the James Madison University after completing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Oregon State University. He has a B.S. from Trine University and a M.S. from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, both in mechanical engineering. Since joining James Madison University, Nagel has helped to develop and teach the six course engineering design sequence which represents the spine of the curriculum for the Department of Engineering. The research and teaching interests of Dr. Nagel tend to revolve around engineering design and engineering design education, and in particular, the design conceptualization phase of the design process. He has performed research with the US Army Chemical Corps, General Motors Research and Development Center, and the US Air Force Academy, and he has received grants from the NSF, the EPA, and General Motors Corporation.

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Melissa Wood Aleman James Madison University

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Dr. Melissa Aleman (Ph.D. University of Iowa) is Professor of Communication Studies at James Madison University and has published research using qualitative interviewing, ethnographic and rhetorical methods to examine communication in diverse contexts ranging from aging families to university campus cultures. She has advised undergraduate and graduate students in ethnographic and qualitative interview projects on a wide-range of topics, has taught research methods at the introductory, advanced, and graduate levels, and has trained research assistants in diverse forms of data collection and analysis.

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Wendy C. Newstetter Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr Wendy C. Newstetter isAssistant Dean for Educational Research and Innovation in the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech.

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Julie S. Linsey Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. Julie S. Linsey is an Associate Professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technological. Dr. Linsey received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas. Her research area is design cognition including systematic methods and tools for innovative design with a particular focus on concept generation and design-by-analogy. Her research seeks to understand designers’ cognitive processes with the goal of creating better tools and approaches to enhance engineering design. She has authored over 100 technical publications including twenty-three journal papers, five book chapters, and she holds two patents.

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Abstract

Recognizing the value of engagement in learning, recent engineering education initiatives have worked to encourage all types of students to pursue engineering while also facilitating the construction of makerspaces on university campuses. Makerspaces have the potential to engage a broader range of students by providing unique and personalized pathways into engineering. While this aims to improve the quality of an engineer’s education, the reality settles in when we begin to question whether these makerspaces are, in fact, encouraging learning in engineering for all types of students.

In this work, we focus on investigating the relationship between learning and engagement of women who are highly immersed in university makerspaces. We have completed a series of three 90-minute semi-structured interviews with six highly engaged female undergraduate students involved in different makerspaces at a single university. The purpose of these interviews was to engage the students in their experiences with the makerspaces and the projects that they work on in this space in order to articulate how these spaces afford learning and their impact on female student engagement. All interviews were conducted by the same female graduate student. This work focuses on the second interviews of two females who had student worker roles in their respective makerspaces on campus. All of the interviews for these two females were transcribed resulting in 180 pages of single-spaced transcriptions, and the second interviews were analyzed through two phases of qualitative data analysis. Types of learning emerged in multiple forms and are presented via case studies of each female participant. For case one, these types of learning include machines learning, social learning, design learning, and self learning. In the other case, the types of learning are tool learning, resourceful learning, space learning, and management learning. These types of learning are then further discussed according to forms of engagement (critical, connected, and collective). Makerspaces are often labeled as “open, learning environments,” and this work demonstrates how these spaces facilitate unique forms of learning that engage these women in the makerspace.

Tomko, M., & Nagel, R. L., & Aleman, M. W., & Newstetter, W. C., & Linsey, J. S. (2018, June), Board 147: Learning in Academic Makerspaces: Preliminary Case Studies of How Academic Makerspaces Afford Learning for Female Students Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29948

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