New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Design in Engineering Education
Characterizing Student Makers: Identifying Differences between Makers and Non-Users
For new engineers to succeed in today’s competitive global economy, engineering education has to foster innovation and creativity in students. The rapid growth of university maker spaces across the country has created an opportunity to combine textbook with hands-on engineering education. With their culture of collaboration, multidisciplinary acceptance, and hands-on learning, we believe that these spaces provide the perfect environment for students to develop their design self-efficacy, ability to innovate, and creativity in design.
This paper focuses on characterizing university maker space’s users and non-users in terms of their engineering design self-efficacy. The results presented in this paper are part of a longitudinal study and will be used to measure the impact of these unique learning environments on the students’ engineering design self-efficacy over time. To have a clear definition between maker space users and non-users, a survey was developed and implemented to capture a student’s level of participation. Concurrently, a survey instrument designed by Carberry et al. (2010) was used to gather the student’s engineering design self-efficacy scores. Both surveys were used to collect data from a freshman level engineering design course during the spring and fall semesters of 2015. The participants were classified in two groups according to their level of participation, and were compared in terms of their engineering design self-efficacy scores. The results from this comparison show that the students with higher participation are more motivated and less anxious to perform engineering design related tasks.
Based on these results, we theorize that academic institutions and introductory engineering design courses could play a key role in stimulating students to participate in university maker spaces. Since anxiety to perform engineering design tasks could be considered a significant barrier preventing students from participating, instructors should highlight the non-threatening and collaborative nature of maker spaces. We postulate that as this barrier is reduced, more students will begin to participate, which ultimately will result in higher number of students taking advantage of maker spaces as hands-on learning environments and gaining design experience.
Morocz, R. J., & Levy, B., & Forest, C., & Nagel, R. L., & Newstetter, W. C., & Talley, K. G., & Linsey, J. S. (2016, June), Relating Student Participation in University Maker Spaces to their Engineering Design Self-Efficacy Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26070
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