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Students’ Self-Assessment of Modern Making Skills

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

CEED Technical Session II: Developing Research and Design Skills Through Experiential Learning

Tagged Division

Cooperative and Experiential Education

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Paper Authors


Diana R. Haidar Carnegie Mellon University Orcid 16x16

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Diana R. Haidar, Ph.D. is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Her background spans industry work in manufacturing, research efforts towards developing nanocomposites for advanced tribological performance in extreme environments, and prototyping experience designing-fabricating-building-testing-implementing various custom experimental equipment. These experiences led to a passion for using makerspace resources to bring more hands-on design experiences to the classroom, which she applies to her position as Educational Director as she leads efforts in the new Maker Ecosystem. She focuses her efforts on connecting students across engineering and the broader university to the physical, digital, and intellectual resources in TechSpark. In addition to her leadership and teaching roles, she enjoys promoting diversity in STEM through youth outreach activities.

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Michael C. Melville Carnegie Mellon University

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Michael Melville works as a Data Science Research Associate at Carnegie Mellon University's Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation, where he consults with faculty, graduate students, and post-docs to design, implement, and assess research projects that relate to teaching and learning in their classrooms. He also contributes to a variety of program-level assessment projects on the CMU campus. Mike's training includes an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of New Hampshire, as well as an M.Ed. in sport and performance psychology from Springfield College. His interests include the science of learning, research methodology, and data analysis. Prior to joining the Eberly Center in 2017, Mike worked as the Teaching and Learning Research Coordinator at the Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching and Learning at the University of New Hampshire.

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Many studies have examined the effects of active learning on students’ educational outcomes. For engineers, this often comes in the form of fabricating components for proof-of-concept prototypes of their engineering designs. At Carnegie Mellon University, the general engineering students in the freshmen course Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering prepare for engineering design projects by receiving training in the modern making skills of CAD software, 3D printing, laser cutting-engraving, power tools, and Arduino. This study analyzed the self-assessment of students’ confidence level to apply these maker skills before and after completing the course. Results showed a significant improvement in students’ self-efficacy for applying these skills after completing the course. Furthermore, a notable number of students expressing doubt in their abilities to complete a particular task with a maker skill had improvements to their self-efficacy upon noting the steps towards successful completion of that task, and expressed confidence in completing an even more complex task.

Haidar, D. R., & Melville, M. C. (2019, June), Students’ Self-Assessment of Modern Making Skills Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33318

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