Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Design in Engineering Education
Lave and Wenger’s framework of situated learning provides a keen lens for understanding how a makerspace makes makers. Stemming from learning theory and cognitive anthropology, situated learning illuminates the processes by which individuals become full participants in a community of practice. In the context of makerspaces, this is to say that makers are made not just when they learn a set of knowledge or skills but when they are entrusted with privileges and responsibilities as increasingly full members of the makerspace community. Using the Stanford University Product Realization Lab (PRL) as a case study, this paper applies the situated learning lens to address the following questions: How do students move from newcomer to more full participant in a makerspace community of practice (MCoP)? What learning resources are available to students as they participate in a MCoP, and by what processes do students access learning resources in the MCoP? Longitudinal interviews were conducted with six students during their enrollment in ME203: “Design and Manufacturing”, a core 10-week introductory course in the PRL. Findings suggest a process by which students enter the makerspace community of practice; develop an internal map of learning resources; access those resources through observing, practicing, asking questions, and being observed; and how actors in the makerspace influence how students access resources. Overall, the communities of practice framework sheds new light on learning in an academic makerspace by focusing attention on the social interactions in the MCoP; the varying levels of participation; and the different ways and conditions under which students access learning resources. The paper ends with guidance for understanding and improving the design of makerspaces and similar learning environments.
Mbaezue, C., & Brubaker, E. R., & Sheppard, S. (2020, June), Understanding a Maker Space as a Community of Practice Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35417
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