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.