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A Model for Maker Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts

The Lawrence University Interdisciplinary Makerspace for Engaged Learning

Lawrence University has established an Interdisciplinary Makerspace for Engaged Learning in the college’s Seeley G. Mudd Library.

During summer and fall 2015, teaching strategies and workflows for using the makerspace were developed and the facility was planned and built.

Class meeting in the makerspace

A class meeting in the new makerspace at Lawrence University.

Since opening for the winter term in early January 2016, the makerspace has been getting a lot of use by faculty and staff. Several courses, including Biochemistry, Instrumental Analysis, New Media in Art, and Photography, have used the equipment and students have begun to use the makerspace for independent study projects.

The makerspace website has photos of the facility and will be used to share assignments, instructions, procedures, patterns for 3D objects, pictures, and other information about the makerspace.


Note: Content below is adapted from the project proposal.


Students arrive on campus today with greater-than-ever technical literacy and expectations. Increasing technology-enhanced education in the liberal arts has potential — beyond merely meeting demand — to teach more than how to push buttons. In higher education, the challenge is to move students toward ever-greater intellectual autonomy and self-confidence.

The traditional college model of learning through lecture, however, neither allows students experiential, hands-on learning, nor nurtures initiative. Students need curricular opportunities to move from passive receivers of information, to engaged producers and creators.

This project aims to address these issues by installing a makerspace at the Lawrence University library as a resource to innovate teaching and learning across the ACM through the integration of maker pedagogies into course offerings and course design.

Integrating a makerspace into teaching and learning

A makerspace is any space that contains technologies and tools to allow for creative design and experimentation; maker pedagogies are the methods that instructors use to integrate the makerspace into teaching and learning. Libraries and educational institutions all over the world have welcomed makerspaces as an innovative intersection of technology, learning, and experimentation. They have broad interdisciplinary appeal.

Piloting a makerspace at Lawrence will provide faculty the opportunity to integrate technology with pedagogy, inspire innovation, collaboration, and experimentation in teaching and learning, and provide students with enhanced technical literacy that complements a liberal arts education.

Training to use the makerspace

After installing 3D printer equipment and software in the library, faculty and staff will meet to train and discuss strategies for using the space. Faculty from many disciplines will integrate the makerspace in course offerings next year and continue meeting to establish best practices.

ACM faculty and staff can follow the developments on a website we will develop for that purpose, including assignments and project examples. We will also have links to popular file sharing websites to disseminate makerspace guides, manuals, and project patterns. Members from ACM schools, as well as local educators, will be invited to hear a speaker who will visit campus to discuss implementing makerspaces into education. Those who cannot make it will be able to watch the presentation online. Additionally, two members from each ACM school will be invited to campus to take part in a maker workshop. At this workshop, Lawrence faculty and staff will share what we have learned about maker pedagogy in the liberal arts, and all participants will have opportunities for discussion and hands-on experience in the makerspace.

Final Grant Report

After purchasing the equipment requested through the grant proposal and hosting the ACM Makers Workshop, around $1,600 was remaining. This was due to lower than expected turnout to the workshop, but the smaller number of attendees allowed for more interaction and learning from one another. Over a year later, we still interact with one another by email to share interesting projects and ideas.

The most popular pieces of equipment in our makerspace have been the Ultimaker 3D printers, so we decided to use the remaining money toward the newest model, the Ultimaker 3. This model allows for dual extrusion of filament, which means it can produce dual color objects and works with a special, dissolvable support filament.

The relationships that were established and conversations that started have proven to be very valuable. These conversations could easily continue and expand with additional 3D printing and maker pedagogy-themed workshops in the future.

Notable Accomplishments

  • Semi-final partner in the maker competencies IMLS grant written at the University of Texas, Arlington and University of Nebada, Reno. (If selected, we will begin testing and providing feedback on sets of maker competencies and assessment tools in early 2018.)
  • Fall 2017 term has been our busiest training term to date.
  • Set up a soldering station in the makerspace due to student demand. (One computer science student programmed and designed a self-driving car.)
  • The makerspace was featured in The Lawrentian, the campus newspaper.
  • Created a guest blog post for Ultimaker entitled, “Library Stories: 3D printing across disciplines”.


Establish a makerspace and maker pedagogies on the Lawrence University campus to accomplish the following goals, and address the following problems:
Goal 1: Integrate the use of technology into pedagogy
Goal 2: Inspire innovation and experimentation in both learning and teaching practices
Goal 3: Foster student and faculty collaboration and interdisciplinarity
Problem 1: There is a growing demand among faculty for opportunities to integrate technology into pedagogy.
Problem 2: Faculty need a space for interdisciplinary collaboration.
Problem 3: Today’s college students need exposure to technology and hands on learning.

G1, G2, P3: In higher education, the challenge is how to move students toward ever-greater intellectual autonomy and self-confidence. The traditional college model of learning through lecture neither allows students experiential, hands-on learning, nor nurtures initiative. Students need the opportunity to move from passive receivers of information, to producers and creators. To do this, they would need a safe place to experiment, try out ideas, learn from mistakes, and to be hands on. In order to address this challenge in teaching, Lawrence aims to establish a makerspace on campus. A makerspace is any space that contains technologies and tools to allow for creative design and experimentation. It would be a place where students can creatively pursue their own learning, both in the classroom and independently. A makerspace will support current courses on campus in ways that will allow students to not only conceptualize ideas and processes, but have the opportunity to make them come to life.

G1, G2, P1: A makerspace is an opportunity to meet the growing demand for the use of technology in courses by faculty at Lawrence. Our campus currently has one, first generation 3D printer in the chemistry department. One of our chemistry professors assigns students a project to create a 3D model of proteins for further study in the classroom. Word got out and soon an Innovation & Entrepreneurship professor assigned his students to use the 3D printer to prototype new products and an art history professor assigned his students to use it to replicate and analyze art. Soon, faculty from many disciplines were discussing how to integrate the use of the printer into their pedagogy. Unfortunately, the printer is outdated and cannot handle complex projects. Its slow speed can only accommodate a small number of projects at a time—not enough to effectively support a class activity, much less more than one. Also, its location in the small department office is prohibitive to class interaction and disruptive to office workers. When library and IT staff heard about the situation, they recognized it as an opportunity to establish a makerspace on campus; makerspaces are cutting edge learning tools in libraries and schools, even liberal arts schools, across the US. They began meeting with faculty to discuss the potential for a central 3D printer lab, or makerspace, at the library.
G1, G2, P1: Lawrence faculty need a space in which to learn and explore new ways of teaching with technology. A makerspace would allow them to apply maker pedagogies and kinesthetic learning into liberal arts teaching and learning. Maker pedagogies revolve around the idea that “teachers act as guides for inquiry-based approaches to the development of knowledge and thinking process” (Kurti, Kurti, and Fleming). Kinesthetic learning relates to “learning by doing, exploring, [and] discovering” and is connected to “increased learning outcomes for all students” (“Kinesthetic Learning”). Educational makerspaces allow for this type of learning by harnessing the “intellectual playground concept for the purpose of inspiring deeper learning through deep questioning” (Kurti, Kurti, and Fleming).

G1, G2, P3: Makerspaces can help prepare students for life after college by equipping them with the confidence and knowledge to work with new technologies. Technology can be an excellent companion to a liberal arts education. Benjamin Riddle, University Innovation Fellow at Furman University explains,
Too often, students leave universities without the ability to demonstrate what they’ve learned. They know, but can’t show. This leaves many questioning the value of college. By joining the maker movement, students learn to use tools and skills that can bring their ideas to life (“How the Maker Movement can Change Higher Education” (Riddle).
Not only could a makerspace enhance student learning, but it will also serve as a place where students can feel free to experiment and develop technology fluency and the problem-solving skills that are necessary in today’s work environment.

G2, G3, P2, P3: Too often at Lawrence, as in other institutions, faculty stay within the confines of their departments, making collaboration and interdisciplinarity unlikely. Makerspaces provide a collaborative learning environment where a mindset of community partnership, collaboration, and creation are developed. A makerspace, in the proposed location at the library, allows for tinkering and experimentation, where faculty and students from a variety of disciplines can converge and share ideas. Makerspaces have the water cooler effect, as they provide a space where people from different areas gather and exchange ideas. Lawrence recognizes the potential of a makerspace to innovate new teaching and learning practices and foster collaboration and interdisciplinarity.

“How the Maker Movement Can Change Higher Education.” Epicenter: National Center for Engineering
Pathways to Innovation. Stanford University. n.d. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

“Kinesthetic Learning.” On the Cutting Edge: Strong Undergraduate Geoscience Teaching. National Association of Geoscience Teachers, 27 Oct. 2014. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

Kurti, R. Steven, Debby L. Kurti and Laura Fleming. “The Philosophy of Educational Makerspaces.” Teacher Librarian, 41.5 (June 2014): 8-11. Academic Search Premier. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.


Activity 1: Equip the space with security features
A card access panel will be installed in the space that will become the makerspace. While the space does currently lock with a key, a card access panel will allow us to give access to those who have been trained in how to safely use the equipment. Properly trained users and securing the space ensures that the makerspace can be used for teaching and learning long into the future (G1, G2, G3).

Activity 2: Obtain equipment
The equipment listed in our budget document is essential to carrying out the specific maker pedagogy projects that our faculty would like to integrate into their courses (G1). This equipment will provide the students with the opportunity to apply liberal arts thinking to technology in a failure-safe environment (G2). It will allow them to learn the technological skills that will help them in today’s workplace environment. The central location of the makerspace, as well as the ongoing faculty meetings, will nurture collaboration and interdisciplinarity (G3).
Our equipment list includes,
•Two 3D printers: The 3D printers are a major resource in a makerspace because of the ability to use them with a wide variety of assignments. Many of the assignments created by our faculty will only be able to be carried out with a 3D printer. Since we know this piece of equipment will be in such high demand, and as it takes about 30 minutes to print one item, we have asked for funding for two stationary printers.
•Desktop 3D scanner: A desktop 3D scanner will be necessary to carry out assignments and projects that involve reproducing fragile objects and creating scans to alter existing objects.
•Portable 3D scanner: This handheld 3D scanner will allow us to scan large objects and can be transported to scan those objects that cannot come to the makerspace, such as large sculptures from the Wriston Galleries and fragile skeletons from the Anthropology department.
•Two desktop computers: These computers will be connected to the 3D printers and scanners and will hold the software to design patterns and operate equipment. The library does not have spare computers to put in this space that would perform at a high enough capacity to run the equipment and programs.
•Small tools and organization: Small tools are required when working with and maintaining 3D printers, including various types of tape, oil, an awl, spring clamps, sanding blocks, tool boxes and hangers. The library and campus facilities will be able to provide some of the required tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, and scissors.
•Computer software: We will take advantage of free software programs such as AutoDesk and open source software such as SketchUp. We would like to install the software Rhino 5, which is the fastest and easiest to learn 3D modeling program today.

Activity 3: Invite a local makerspace expert speaker
An expert from a local makerspace will be invited to instruct groups of faculty and library staff on the technical aspects of the equipment and software in the space. An experienced makerspace expert will provide the interdisciplinary group of interested faculty and staff with knowledge gained from having worked in a makerspace (G1, G2, G3).

Activity 4: Invite makerspace pedagogy expert speaker
An academic expert in applying maker pedagogies to higher education will be invited to speak with interested faculty. By learning about these pedagogies from an academic, the Lawrence faculty will have the opportunity to hear more about the research behind the pedagogy as well as ways they can apply it to their courses (G1, G2).

Activity 5: Incorporate makerspace pedagogy into classes
Interested faculty will sign up to use the makerspace in their classrooms. We foresee at least six courses will be using the space by winter term, 2016. Professors have already committed to using the space with their classes for Art 340/540 Intermediate and Advanced New Media in Art, Art History 210 Early Medieval Art & Architecture, Art 320/570 Intermediate and Advanced Print Making, CHEM 340 Biochemistry, CHEM 410 Instrumental Analysis, and MUCA 400 Electroacoustic Composition (Spring term 2016), (G1, G2).

Activity 6: Evaluate results, institutionalize best practices
By analyzing Trello use records, talking with and surveying participating faculty, and reviewing surveys from participating students from the school year, we will gather data to evaluate results. After data has been analyzed, we will call together a group of faculty and staff to create a list of best practices and guidelines for using the space. This will include things such as, number of people who can safely and comfortably work in the space, level of training required to enter the space, reviewing the safety manuals, communication between faculty about use of the space, potential recurring technological problems (G1, G2, G3).

Activity 7: Disseminate results
We plan to create a website to share information about the space to those on campus, as well as other interested institutions as soon as funding is received. This website will include frequent updates about our experiences in the space and updates such as machine downtime. We will also utilize social media applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to disseminate information about the makerspace and pedagogical tools.
We will also submit projects, files, and ideas that students have created to community content sharing websites such as Thingieverse, Instructables, and Makeitatyourlibrary.org.

Activity 8: Host an ACM Workshop on Makerspace Pedagogy
In addition to online methods of sharing information, we will also host an open house for the Lawrence community as well as local colleges and universities and ACM schools. This workshop would serve as a way to share with other ACM schools all that we will gain from this project. We will be able to help fellow ACM schools overcome the same problems that we are currently facing in regard to technology in the classroom, innovation in teaching, and student/faculty collaboration. (G1, G2, G3). This workshop will not only benefit our guests, but also the faculty of Lawrence University, as gatherings such as this can lead to excellent discussions and even further collaborations.

Lawrence University faculty and students will be initial participants in the space: implementing set up, training, and exploring the integration of the technology with pedagogy. A much wider audience of participants are targeted for the subsequent speakers, workshop, and information shared through various online tools.

Inviting a local makerspace expert for technical instruction: The audience and participants for this activity is Lawrence University faculty who are interested in learning the technical skills behind operating the makerspace programs and equipment, as well as library staff. As the space will be housed within the library, the library staff are eager to learn how to assist with the equipment.

Makerspace pedagogy expert speaker and open house: The intended audience is very wide for this event. Attendance will be open to all faculty, staff, and students of Lawrence University, as well as local educators, librarians, Appleton makerspace members, and faculty from ACM schools. By streaming the speaker’s presentation, the audience can include a wider variety of faculty and educators who will not be able to make it to campus.

Website, social media, Thingiverse, etc.: The intended audience for these online activities includes the faculty, staff, and students of Lawrence University, as well as those from other educational institutions, libraries, and those who are interested in makerspaces.

ACM Workshop: Faculty from ACM schools as well as Lawrence University faculty and staff will be invited to this collaborative workshop.

We plan to begin project activities within a month of award notification and continue through summer of 2016. Though official project activities will be completed at that time, we expect that this project will spark a larger maker movement on campus. This grant would help us to institutionalize results on the Lawrence campus, as well as help other universities that are interested in doing the same.

The funding for the activities and products we have mentioned are as follows:
• Equip the space with security features – one month after funding, summer 2015
• Obtain the equipment for a makerspace – one month after funding, summer 2015
• Invite local Makerspace expert to train users – Fall 2015
• Begin to hold regular faculty maker pedagogy group meetings – Fall 2015
• Incorporate Makerspace into class – The following classes have been identified by their instructors as courses that would use the makerspace during Winter term 2016- ART 340/540: Intermediate New Media in Art, ARHI210: Early Medieval Art & Architecture, CHEM115: Principles of Chemistry, CHEM 410: Instrumental Analysis, I-E 100: In Pursuit of Innovation.
• Invite Makerspace pedagogy expert speaker and host an open house for ACM schools – Spring term 2016
• Evaluate results, institutionalize best practices – Throughout: Faculty interest group meetings, website content, user feedback
• Disseminate results – Upon funding and ongoing
• Host ACM Maker Pedagogy conference – Summer 2016

Dissemination Strategies

Learning Community: As an institution dedicated to rigorous education in the liberal arts, Lawrence welcomes this opportunity to integrate cutting-edge technology into teaching and learning practices. This opportunity aligns with our mission of developing intellect and talent in our students in the pursuit of knowledge. In a makerspace setting, students will put these ideals to practice by using their intellect and talents to create and experiment in a hands-on environment. They will work together through the process of failure to success to learn good choices in a collaborative, interactive setting. This aligns with how we see ourselves: “as a learning community of scholars and artists [who] engage each other in a transformative process that emphasizes individualized learning, supported by an environment of rich educational opportunities.” Makerspaces facilitate collaboration and interdisciplinarity, while also providing self-directed, engaged learning. As a space where students can experiment, create, and take ideas from thoughts to products, a makerspace provides just the kind of “rich educational opportunity” that we strive to offer students. In short, we believe a makerspace furthers Lawrence’s goal to transform our students into articulate, critical thinkers, and creative problem-solvers who are prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing world (“Our Mission”).

Engaged Learning: As part of a campus-wide initiative, Lawrence seeks to increase engaged learning opportunities for our students. With our low student-to-teacher ratio, a makerspace is a perfect opportunity for us to provide these interpersonal opportunities. Lawrence describes engaged learning as, “actively engaging in challenging and meaningful learning experiences with faculty and with one another… simply put, you will learn by doing.” The makerspace will allow students to “learn by doing” and to engage with technology, faculty, one other, and take control of their own learning process. Lawrence faculty will be encouraged to use this space to develop hands-on and collaborative projects alongside their students (“What Makes Lawrence Special?”).

Increase Applications: Lawrence has been working to increase applications by prospective students. Efforts to integrate the use of technology into pedagogy aligns with our priority to increase applications by showing students that Lawrence prepares students for success in a rapidly changing world. Having a space on our campus dedicated to the application of knowledge using technology would attract some students to Lawrence; members of our makerspace faculty group have overheard prospective students ask guides on admissions tours whether we have a 3D printer on campus.

“Our Mission.” Lawrence University, n.d. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

“What Makes Lawrence Special?” Lawrence University, n.d. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

Introduction: The opportunities for faculty to learn new ways to integrate technology into pedagogy, the interdisciplinary nature of the maker pedagogy and space, as well as the ability to provide students with a safe space to learn new technologies and skills, make the Lawrence University Interdisciplinary Makerspace for Teaching and Learning an excellent example of a FaCE joint project. More specifically, maker pedagogy is an excellent example of an innovative and engaging instructional tool that can be applied to a wide variety of disciplines across Lawrence University, as well as other institutions.

Integrating maker pedagogy at Lawrence University would address many issues that face liberal arts colleges today. The first of which is the use of technology in the classroom. In his article, “Technology Can Help Save the Liberal Arts,” Gunnar Counselman argues that, “not only will technology improve the learning experience, it will dramatically increase the number of students engaging in liberal education” (Counselman). Students preparing to enter the workplace today not only require the rigorous intellectual stimulation and problem-solving that is available at liberal arts colleges, they also require an aptitude with technology. By providing the opportunity to combine both in a makerspace, we would be taking a step in the right direction of preparing our students to be ready for life after college.

Studies have shown that active learning methods leads to higher levels of understanding and knowledge retention. A study performed at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy showed that, “the use of active-learning strategies over lecture-based methods… resulted in higher retention of core content” (Lucas, et al, 2013). By active learning, we are referring to learning that allows hands-on creation and discovery, and gives students freedom to craft their projects around a set of guidelines, knowledge, and instructor guidance. Active learning also enables students to take pride and ownership in their education and become more engaged with the content. Authors Anita Say Chan and Harriett Green argue that integrating new technological teaching tools into classrooms can, “foster an environment of interdisciplinary, student engagement…[and] encourage playful student tinkering with the tools, even when they appear simple or familiar” (Chan & Green).

Many faculty at Lawrence University are already active in integrating new teaching methods into their classrooms. The group that has been meeting to plan this project is made up of twenty of these interested faculty and staff from departments all over campus. Many of these faculty and staff have been successfully integrating new methods and technologies into their classrooms using iPads, Moodle course management software, flipped classroom and hybrid learning methods, and much more. In fact, a large number are also involved in a grant the university recently received from the Teagle Foundation in collaboration with five other liberal arts colleges for developing and teaching hybrid learning courses (Peterson).

Maker pedagogies have already been put to the test as effective teaching methods in K-12 and public libraries (Kurti, et al; Sullivan). The hands-on, individual work, can easily be applied in a more advanced way to students at the university level. Many of our faculty have already thought of specific ways to integrate these methods into the classroom. Examples of such ideas includes creating models of protein structures, replicating art pieces, creating sound wave models, and creating scale models of ancient structures.
One criticism of liberal arts institutions is that students are not given the opportunity to apply what they learn. One of the main things that is taught at liberal arts institutions is how to think critically, question what they see, and learn from a broad range of disciplines. A maker pedagogy and makerspace allows students to have the space and technologies to learn to apply these skills to practical, hands-on projects, allowing them the opportunity to learn how to apply liberal arts thinking. Opportunities to apply these principles with the encouragement and guidance of an instructor will help students to learn how to apply knowledge in their lives after graduation.

At many academic institutions, students who study different subjects often do not interact with one another. This is an opportunity, as students from different academic backgrounds could share skills, ideas, and ways of thinking that could lead to exciting results. The problem of academic silos is especially apparent at Lawrence University, where we have a college and a conservatory of music. Both college and conservatory faculty have responded enthusiastically to this project with ideas about how they wish to participate in integrating maker pedagogy. A makerspace would provide a central place for faculty and students from all over campus to gather, interact, and share ideas. Not only will the space itself provide this interdisciplinary interaction, but the working groups, workshops, and speaker events we propose will provide ongoing forums for faculty to learn new maker pedagogies and learn from one another.

Chan, Anita Say and Harriett Green. “Practicing Collaborative Digital Pedagogy to Foster Digital Literacies in Humanities Classrooms,” EDUCAUSE Review, 13 Oct. 2014, Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

Counselman, Gunnar. “Technology Can Help Save the Liberal Arts.” Inside Higher Ed, 14 Aug. 2014, Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

Kurti, R. Steven, Debby L. Kurti and Laura Fleming. “The Philosophy of Educational Makerspaces.” Teacher Librarian, 41.5 (June 2014): 8-11. Academic Search Premier. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

Lucas, Kristy H., Julie A. Testman, Marcella N. Hoyland, et al. “Correlation Between Active-Learning Coursework and Student Retention of Core Content During Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences” American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 77.8 Article 171. (Oct. 2013): 1-6. Academic Search Premier. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

Peterson, Rick. “Enhanced Curriculum: Lawrence participating in $335,000 project to develop hybrid courses.” Lawrence University News. 26 Mar. 2015. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

Sullivan, Margaret. “Maker, Tinker, Hacker? Active Learning Spaces in K-12 Libraries.” Library Media Connection, 33.5 (March/April 2015): 16-17. Academic Search Premier. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

Resources & Materials

Johnson, L., S. Adams Becker, V. Estrada, and A. Freeman. “Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators,” NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition, 14 (2014): 14-15. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

“Maker Space Makes its Debut.” Haverford Magazine. (Spring/Summer 2014): 22-23. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

“MakeSpace,” Institute of Making. University College London. n.d. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

“New Lab a Meeting Place for Technology and Art,” Mount Holyoke, 27 Feb 2015, Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

“Welcome to ThinkLab,” ThinkLab, University of Mary Washington. n.d. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

Yap, Shiwen. “Hackerspaces are Becoming Centers of Liberal Arts in Asia: NUS Prof,” Tech in Asia, 2 Jan. 2014. Web. Accessed 13 Apr. 2015.

Maker pedagogy group

This group (led by the three leaders listed on this proposal) will be the main way of sharing and dispersing information on campus. We plan to advertise for the group widely across campus through faculty meetings, emails, and word of mouth. We intend to keep the group organized by using the campus Moodle class management software, which will also be a way to share more information. This will be an ongoing forum in support of maker pedagogy on campus.

Social media/website

The results will also be shared on our website and social media outlets, which we will use to reach out to Lawrence faculty, staff, and students, but also those off campus. Resources developed as a result of the project, such as speaker presentations, patterns, and training materials, can find ongoing impact online. These will be of particular value to faculty and/or ACM campuses just beginning to integrate maker pedagogies into course design.

General Informational Meetings

The three leaders of the maker pedagogy group also plan to hold additional informational meetings on campus for those who may be in the investigative stage and have questions about the potentials of the space and want to learn about what others have done.

Sharing of patterns and projects

We will share the results, such as 3D printed patterns and project instructions, on the websites Thingieverse, Instructables, and Makeitatyourlibrary.org. These websites are major sources of 3D printed patterns, project instructions, and tutorials that are used by academic and non-academic users alike. In fact, one of the project leads, Professor David Hall, already has uploaded patterns for virus and protein models in Thingieverse. These models have received a substantial number of downloads. We also plan to post a select number of projects and patterns in Lux, Lawrence University’s institutional repository.

Sharing of assignments, procedures, and experiences

A part of the maker movement is to share and learn from one another, so it is extremely important for us to share our findings, creations, and educational tools with as wide of an audience as possible. We plan to create a website where we would share information about the space to those on campus, as well as other interested institutions. We would begin this project as soon as funding is received. This website will include descriptions of assignments that other instructors can easily integrate into their classrooms, makerspace procedures and manuals we create, as well as pictures of and stories about projects. We will also utilize social media applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to share pictures and information about the space, as well as a way to spread the word on and off campus. We plan to create a Lawrence University Makerspace Facebook page, as well as share information on the library’s Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr pages.

Inviting attendees to the maker pedagogy speaker/streaming

The maker pedagogy speaker’s presentation will be open to all local educators, all interested members from ACM schools, and all interested faculty, staff, and students from Lawrence University. We are aware that not all interested parties will be able to drive to Appleton for the presentation, so we will arrange to have the presentation streamed online, making it available to a much wider audience.

ACM Maker Pedagogy Workshop

In addition to online methods of sharing information, this workshop for faculty from ACM schools will allow for in-person and hands-on dispersal of information through presentations, discussion, and makerspace activities. We believe that inviting ACM participants to campus to be immersed in maker pedagogies is an effective way to not only disperse information, but to build a solid framework for maker pedagogies that can be used across ACM schools.

Outcomes and Significance

Product 1. Card reader access securing the space that has been dedicated to house the makerspace

Results: A central campus space in the library has been dedicated as the location of the makerspace. To ensure only those who are properly trained to safely use the equipment and to increase security for the valuable equipment in the space, we will install a card reader on the door to the space. All Lawrence University faculty, staff, and students have identification cards that work with the card readers that are installed all over campus. To install one and control access would be an easy implementation, since it is already implemented elsewhere on campus. In the event that a community member would like to use the space, one of our librarians would work with that person to arrange access.

Product 2. A Makerspace on the Lawrence University campus

Results: A makerspace provides an environment conducive to blending participatory, technology-enabled learning with the critical thinking skills that are honed in a liberal arts classroom. Makerspaces allow students to explore and come to their own conclusions through trial and error and hands-on experimentation with the guidance of an instructor. Makerspaces provide a collaborative learning environment where a mindset of community partnership, collaboration, and creation are developed. A makerspace will allow students from all majors to work through problems in a repeated process of brainstorming, testing solutions, and going back to the drawing board, thus encouraging the development of crucial problem-solving skills that are valued in today’s work environment.

Several universities from around the world including University College London and the National University of Singapore, as well as domestic liberal arts colleges such as the University of Mary Washington and Mount Holyoke, have established makerspaces on their campuses (“MakeSpace”; Yap; “Welcome to ThinkLab”; “New Lab a Meeting Place for Technology and Art”). Indeed, the 2014 Horizon Report on higher education has identified that “a shift is taking place in the focus of pedagogical practice on university campuses all over the world as students across a wide variety of disciplines are learning by making and creating rather than from the simple consumption of content” (Johnson, et al, 14). Students and faculty from all disciplines will have the opportunity to follow their ideas from brainstorming, to collaboration, to an actual object in a failure-safe environment.

Our proposed makerspace will be housed in the library, which is located centrally in campus. We feel the library is an excellent place for an interdisciplinary space, as it already draws students and faculty from all disciplines on campus. The library staff will be trained in how to use the equipment, should any troubleshooting problems arise. The library staff will also have access to a list of those who have completed the necessary training session and are permitted to enter the space, for security purposes. This list will be maintained in the Makerspace Moodle group that we will be using for organizing meetings and online discussion among Lawrence faculty and staff.

Product 3. Technical instructional session with a local makerspace expert

Results: Shortly after the equipment is purchased and installed in the space, we would like to invite a local expert from whom interested faculty and library staff can learn technical knowledge about the makerspace equipment and software. We aim to invite an expert who will provide us with knowledge gained from having worked in a makerspace in an educational environment. This in-person interaction with someone who has worked in a makerspace will provide us with the skills to be able to assist students with using the equipment while remaining focused on the educational goals. Our main candidate to invite works in the makerspace at the local Fox Valley Technical College, and a secondary candidate is a teacher who is a member of the local Appleton Makerspace.

Product 4. Training sessions for Lawrence faculty to learn the new technology

Results: Arno Damerow, Instructional Technologist and one of the project leads, will develop training sessions to introduce the new technologies to a wide audience of Lawrence faculty. He will also develop training sessions to use with classes of students as additional professors become interested in using the makerspace as well as individual students who become interested in independent projects. Arno has agreed to take the lead in equipment training, allowing the professors more time to focus on content and creation. Angela Vanden Elzen, Reference & Web Services Librarian, will also lead training sessions.

Product 5. A formal maker pedagogy group on campus

Results: Although a large group of interested faculty and staff have already shown interest in using maker pedagogies by working together on the concept for the LU Interdisciplinary Makerspace for Engaged Learning, we know from conversations that many more are interested in this type of pedagogy. Lawrence University faculty have an excellent track record of implementing new technologies and teaching methods into classrooms and teaching, such as iPads, classroom response systems, the Chemistry department’s first generation 3D printer, flipped classroom methods, and more. After the space is established and training sessions are developed, we will reach out to faculty on campus to attend regular meetings to discuss ideas of how maker pedagogies can be implemented. We plan to create a Moodle group where faculty will arrange in person meetings as well as share ideas with one another. Other campus technology user groups, such as the iPads and flipped classroom groups, are organized around Moodle, so we feel this method will be easily adopted by faculty. Meetings will be held bimonthly, and will be announced widely at faculty meetings and elsewhere on campus in an effort to encourage those who are not currently using the space to feel welcome to come and learn.

Product 6. Classes that integrate technology

Results: Faculty from a variety of disciplines have developed plans to integrate the makerspace into their class pedagogy. The integration of the makerspace equipment into the pedagogy will allow faculty to integrate hands-on technology and skills to help students deepen their understanding of course content.

The following examples are among the many ideas that our faculty are eager to implement into their courses:

Professor Benjamin Tilghman in Art History would like to use the space the next time his seminar course, The Art of Stuff, is offered. For a major assignment, the students would be instructed to create duplicates of art objects from the university’s collection as well as everyday non-art objects, using a 3D scanner and 3D printer. The students would then explore what makes an object art. He has also proposed to use the 3D printer in his course Early Medieval Art & Architecture to create reproductions of bronze fibula (cloak fasteners) to demonstrate how the objects change their appearance as they are moved around in the hand.

Professor Aaron Sherkow and colleagues in the Theatre department would use makerspace with students when creating prop duplicates of rare of delicate objects, as well as design scale models of sets for the courses Scenic Design and Computer Aided Design. These courses create the objects and sets for the university theatre productions.

Professor Adam Galambos already uses the makerspace at a local technical college with students in his Innovation and Entrepreneurship courses, especially in the course, In Pursuit of Innovation. The students in this class go through the process of finding a need, creating a product to fulfill that need, then creating the product. Unfortunately, it is difficult for many of our students to find transportation to bring them to the technical college and the fees for using the space are high and unsustainable. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship program would benefit greatly from a makerspace on the Lawrence University campus.

Studio Art Professor Sara Gross plans on using the 3D printer and 3D scanners with her students in intermediate and upper level ceramics classes to create molds and prototypes. She also would like to use the makerspace heavily in a special topics course, Ephemerality in Art.

Professors in the Conservatory of Music also have ideas about using the makerspace in teaching and learning. Professor of Music, Asha Srinivasan, is interested in printing 3D models of sound waves into her music fundamentals courses and electronic music courses. She is also interested in using the 3D printer to create musical instruments: from replicas of instruments that already exist to creating brand new instruments.

Currently, our Chemistry and Biochemistry Professors David Hall and Jay Stork and their students create 3D models of proteins and viruses with the campus’ existing 3D printer for Introduction to Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry. They, along with the newest professor to the department, Deanna Donohoue, are interested in continuing this practice as well as expanding on it with higher level courses, such as Instrumental Analysis, with today’s newer, more reliable models. As mentioned in the goals section, the 3D printer currently owned by the Chemistry department is very slow and incompatible with today’s software. Demand for its use has far exceeded its capabilities as more faculty and more students gain interest in maker pedagogies and kinesthetic learning techniques.
Art and Photography Professors John Shimon and Julie Lindemann would like to use the 3D printers in their course Intermediate and Advanced New Media in Art. Students would go through the process of creating a small work of art that starts with the digital and becomes tangible.

The faculty and staff have also come up with many additional ideas that may be used in classes as well as by the departments that supplement classes. One example is the Wriston Art Galleries’ plan to create 3D printed copies of fragile collection objects that students can take home to study, take inventory of objects and their conditions using the 3D scanner, and digitally repair damaged objects with the 3D scanner. Professors from the Religious Studies, Anthropology, and Museum Studies departments are also interested in integrating maker pedagogies into the classes and would like to learn more about doing so from colleagues and other experts.

Product 7. Makerspace Open House with featured speaker

Results: Within six months of having the makerspace available for classes, we would invite a speaker to campus to discuss maker pedagogy and uses of makerspaces. We would invite a speaker from a liberal arts college with an established makerspace such as Oberlin College or Haverford College. These schools have already achieved successes with their makerspaces through student projects, classwork, and even replacing worn out campus lab equipment (“Maker Space Makes its Debut”). The speaker would talk about the benefits of providing this type of participatory learning to students and how to integrate it into classrooms. Members of the Lawrence community and other ACM schools, as well as local educators from the community would be invited to this workshop. We will arrange with videographers on the Lawrence campus to stream the speaker’s presentation online to make it viewable to the widest audience possible. Makerspaces are rapidly gaining popularity among colleges and universities. This project aims to help ACM schools explore this rapidly emerging movement. The timing of this event is intentional—we would like to have spent sufficient time utilizing the makerspace in pedagogy at Lawrence before a speaker comes, in order to be prepared with more fruitful examples and questions.

Product 8. List of best practices/ instruction manual/ online resources and links

Results: To share learning and outcomes with other ACM schools, we plan on creating a WordPress website where faculty will share their experiences and ideas of using the space. We will also share documents we create, such as safety documents, procedural manuals, and assignments on this site. This will allow us to share the results of our work with everyone, including those at ACM schools. This site will point to Thingieverse, Instructables, and Makeitatyourlibrary.org, allowing others to download the files and instructions for projects that are created.

We strongly believe in the sharing of knowledge and creative output. One of the most satisfying things about a makerspace is that the “watercooler effect” applies not only in person, but also by sharing information online as well.

Product 9. Ongoing assessment of the pedagogies and the space

Results: To assess the makerspace and pedagogical use, we will be using a task management website called Trello. Here, users would post the individual assignment on which they are working, post about their progress, and ideally about the final product as well. This will also provide us a way to identify problems in the workflows or any other step of the way. This will also provide us with opinions and student testimonials that we will share on the website.

The maker pedagogy group will also be responsible for discussing and assessing the project’s learning outcomes. At our bimonthly meetings, we will discuss projects, use of the space, and aspects of teaching and learning in the space that work well. We will also discuss the methods we are using to share information, and whether or not they may need alteration.

Product 10. Host an ACM Maker Pedagogy Workshop

Results: In addition to hosting a speaker and inviting participants from ACM schools to attend or view online, we would also like to host a workshop for faculty from ACM schools on the Lawrence University campus. The workshop will last a day and a half, and will consist of presentations by the faculty and staff who are involved in the makerspace at Lawrence University, group discussions, as well as hands-on time for ACM visitors to use the equipment. More details are below:

Lawrence University faculty who have used the makerspace with their courses will be invited to lead sessions in which they will share assignments that have used the maker pedagogy, give examples of projects that students have created, share any complications that may have arisen, and share student feedback. We already have a number of faculty who are interested in presenting at this workshop. Any faculty from ACM schools who are interested in presenting will be given the opportunity.

We will also host a session about how to effectively instruct a class of students on how to use the makerspace. This session will be led by Arno Damerow, Instructional Technologist, and Angela Vanden Elzen, Reference & Web Services Librarian.

The workshop will also include guided hands-on time in the makerspace. Attendees will be given tasks, similar to assignments that students have completed, and will be walked through how these tasks were completed. This hands-on time will allow ACM faculty to learn about the equipment, how students can go about using it, and experience for themselves the amount of technological skills that students acquire in the makerspace.

Discussion sessions will take place throughout the session. Some will take place over lunch, as special dining rooms will be reserves for workshop attendees. Other discussion sessions will be presented as Q&A panels with experienced faculty who have worked in the Lawrence University makerspace. David Hall, Professor of Chemistry, will serve on the panel- along with other faculty later to be determined.

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