Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Design in Engineering Education
Student use of makerspaces can vary greatly, with some students confidently using the space throughout their academic career and others quickly losing interest or never participating. Many of the potential roadblocks are nuanced or unpredictable and can only be discerned when multiple makerspace design parameters are evaluated in reference to each other. This preliminary investigation models the makerspaces as a network of actors (students and tools) connected by individual student-equipment interactions. This representation allows for a modularity analysis to be performed, a tool primarily used by ecologists to study mutualistic networks in nature and investigated here for its potential to understand and design the makerspace from a systems-perspective. The modularity analysis can highlight the different roles, for example what are great introductory or stepping stone tools, that the students and tools play within and their respective contributions to the larger makerspace. The results suggests that the analysis has the potential to support makerspace decision-makers with information such as: which students act as recruiters for and which are not fully using a makerspace (enabling them to potentially be connected), which tools have low usage rates and potentially discourage students from the space versus, and how students navigate the overall space to identify enhancements.
Brehm, C. D., & Linsey, J. S., & Layton, A. (2020, June), Using A Modularity Analysis to Determine Tool and Student Roles within Maker Spaces Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . https://peer.asee.org/35445
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