June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Educational Research and Methods
Our research report details how student interactions in makerspaces may be influencing their development Increasing resources and support for the integration of makerspaces in undergraduate engineering programs provide warrant for examining what is taking place in the spaces. We have been researching several university engineering education programs in which a makerspace is embedded into the program and there are expectations for faculty members to integrate the use of the spaces into their courses to support student learning. This report is on one of the cases.
We maintain that there is a necessity to assess a range of variables to determine how and what students are learning in the spaces. Given the exploratory nature of our study we have been focusing in interviewing those working in the space, more specifically the students, faculty member, staff and directors.
In this paper, we report on one of our cases (an engineering education program at a large research university) and share data that details what students are learning and experiencing in the space. More specifically we report on our exploration of: 1) the social variables of belongingness and feeling on being included in makerspaces; 2) knowledge gained and applied from working in makerspaces; 3) the psychological variables of motivation and interest associated with working in makerspaces; and 4) the developmental of a professional identity.
We spent two and one half days in the makerspace and conducted many interviews of students, faculty members, staff, and space director. We transcribed the interviews and coded them for themes aligned with our primary constructs.
Our results of our analysis indicate that through their makerspace interactions students are learning some aspects of the processes of engineering such as design, prototype, and redesign, and working with provided criteria and constraints. We found that the makerspace fostered student development of an identity aligned with professionals. The space was inclusive and student perceived they belonged in the space. Also, the space was motivational for student learning. Time and safety were issues that emerged through our interviews.
In our report we include data representative of our findings and detail the learning that students are experiencing in the makerspaces. We use the results of our analysis to frame our discussion and recommendations for enhancing student learning in undergraduate engineering preparation programs through the integration of makerspace activities.
Nadelson, L., & Villanueva, I., & Bouwma-Gearhart, J., & Lanci, S., & Youmans, K., & Lenhart, C. A., & Van Winkle, A. K. (2019, June), Knowledge in the Making: What Engineering Students are Learning in Makerspaces Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33039
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