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University Makerspaces: Characteristics and Impact on Student Success in Engineering and Engineering Technology Education

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

CEED Technical Session: High-Impact Makerspaces, Transitioning from Co-op to School and Service Research

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

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Paper Authors


Alexandra Longo American Society for Engineering Education

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Alexandra (Alex) Longo currently serves as Program Manager of Education and Career Development at ASEE, where she leads the Online Learning initiative, manages externally funded programs and projects, and assists with stakeholder workshop development and implementation. Alex works closely with the ASEE Diversity Committee and the NSF-funded project NSF-funded project Promoting LGBTQ Equality in STEM. Prior to working at ASEE, Alex held positions related to education and events at the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), both in Washington, DC. Alex has a passion for instructional design, informal education, and hands-on learning, and received her MA in Museum Education from Seton Hall University in 2013.

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Brian Yoder American Society for Engineering Education

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Dr. Yoder is the department director, guiding the overall direction of research and evaluation activities. Prior to working at ASEE, Brian worked at NASA Education, overseeing the development of an on-line performance management system to assess NASA’s educational investments nationally. He also serves as President of the Washington Evaluators, a local affiliate of the American Evaluation Association.

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Rocio C. Chavela Guerra American Society for Engineering Education

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Rocio Chavela is Director of Education and Career Development at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). She holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University, a B.S. and a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Universidad de las Americas, Puebla in Mexico. Rocio’s current efforts focus on engineering faculty and graduate student development, with particular emphasis on the adoption of evidence-based instructional practices.

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Rossen Tsanov American Society for Engineering Education

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With the growth and increased visibility of the Maker Movement, a large number of makerspaces have been established in different venues, including community spaces, museums, and libraries. In the world of academia, makerspaces have multiplied on university and college campuses over the past decade, as spaces for students to enhance their education with creative and experiential learning. Makerspaces, as a supplement to traditional classroom learning, have the capacity to offer educational value to both engineering and engineering technology students. This paper explores how a respondent group of engineering deans and engineering technology deans and department chairs view, implement, and value Making and makerspaces within their academic institutions.

In spring 2016, the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) distributed a survey to learn how and to what extent makerspaces are implemented in engineering and engineering technology schools and programs and to assess the perceived value of makerspaces and Making in these settings. The ultimate goal of this survey is to help inform how Making and makerspaces can best be incorporated into engineering and engineering technology education. Findings from this survey indicate that university makerspaces emphasize both education and entrepreneurship in their primary uses, though they may vary in physical characteristics like ownership and operation, size and equipment type and quantity. Regarding impact, survey respondents perceived that Making results in positive outcomes on student-level and university-levels, increasing diversity, access and retention, and to a lesser extent, improving student grades and classroom performance. Engineering deans focused more on university-level impact (including diversity and retention), while engineering technology deans and chairs focused on student-level impact (including performance and grades).

Longo, A., & Yoder, B., & Chavela Guerra, R. C., & Tsanov, R. (2017, June), University Makerspaces: Characteristics and Impact on Student Success in Engineering and Engineering Technology Education Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29061

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015