April 20, 2017
April 20, 2017
April 22, 2017
Pacific Southwest Section
The objective of this paper is to propose guidelines for designing open-ended, hands-on making educational experiences within the context of undergraduate engineering coursework. The aim is to expand understanding of what making-based learning (MBL) in the context of undergraduate engineering design education might be, especially for current Millennial students. This work seeks to illuminate the engineering classroom experiences of making in ways beyond just tools and places – including those who engage in authentic engineering practice through imagination and making, design and analysis, and also tinkering, hacking and tweaking. We seek to apply our previous work understanding Adult Maker and Young Maker educational pathways in a way useful to those responsible for engineering studios, prototyping labs, and academic maker spaces. We build on our prior qualitative research work and understanding of Makers’ educational pathways and experiences to distill a working framework for designing Making experiences for student learners and design principles for framing making-based learning projects.
Hands-on building experiences are underfunded in secondary schools and engineering science is a more prevalent approach to teaching college students than human-centered design. While opportunities exist to nurture one’s interest in making and tinkering are growing, means to truly foster creativity in the classroom is limited. Coupled with calls for competitiveness, a search to find new learning models to create innovators in the classroom is needed. With ubiquity of information and promises of technology, such potential can be manifested in the Maker Community, through both technology but also open-source collaborative efforts that include a breadth of fields.
The research questions guiding this study are RQ1: “How might engineering students learn and apply making in undergraduate engineering?” and RQ2: “What are the attributes of making in the engineering classroom?” With some understanding of making in the wild, as presented at Maker Faires and Adult Makers and Young Makers sharing their work, we apply those learnings to inform the engineering education enterprise.
Engineers participate in the Maker movement. Some Makers do not pursue formal engineering education but both the engineering field and their own vocational advancement could readily benefit. With our ongoing research into understanding Adult Maker and Young Maker educational pathways, we seek to understand making and how making activities and work are inclusive or exclusive of what we expect from engineers and engineering students. From the Engineer of 2020, we highlight practical ingenuity, creativity and lifelong learning for likely opportunities to leverage the Maker experience in the engineering classroom.
With an ultimate goal of facilitating more effective teaching and learning of making through the experience of learning engineering and design in the undergraduate engineering classroom, we build on a list of qualities that have emerged from our previous making-related work and place in the context of undergraduate engineering education. We share these learning attributes below with examples from Making and engineering, and how it may become reflected in the engineering classroom in the future. This makes for quite an opportunity to further bolster relevance and context for the instructor and the student learner.
Lande, M., & Jordan, S. S., & Weiner, S. (2017, April), Making People and Projects: Implications for Designing Making-Based Learning Experiences Paper presented at 2017 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting, Tempe, Arizona. https://peer.asee.org/29225
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