While students make in makerspaces, they traverse and integrate a variety of skills that create a dynamic relationship between learning processes, creative exploration, and expertise acquisition. We put forth that in order to certify and reveal the value of making, it is necessary to investigate this interplay between learning, creativity, and expertise using qualitative methods. This paper presents a comprehensive literature review and research initiative that demonstrate how to utilize ethnographic approaches to study learning in makerspaces. Specifically, we present initial steps to explore this dynamic relationship with the goal of answering the question What do students learn in universities makerspaces? At present, it is unclear what university students actually learn in university makerspaces, and how learning in makerspaces compares to learning in other hands-on learning opportunities such as competition team projects (e.g., SAE), undergraduate research, or other informal engineering learning environments. This research initiative focuses on two very different makerspaces at two different universities, which creates a unique opportunity for comparison. To study these spaces, we implement observation, participant observation, and interviewing of students, particularly on making. We envision this work as a springboard for further work in understanding makerspaces.
- Design Engineering Division
- Computers and Information in Engineering Division
A Qualitative Approach to Studying the Interplay Between Expertise, Creativity, and Learning in University Makerspaces
Tomko, M, Nagel, RL, Linsey, J, & Aleman, M. "A Qualitative Approach to Studying the Interplay Between Expertise, Creativity, and Learning in University Makerspaces." Proceedings of the ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. Volume 3: 19th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 14th International Conference on Design Education; 10th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices. Cleveland, Ohio, USA. August 6–9, 2017. V003T04A013. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2017-68256
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