Developing Student Learning Outcome Metrics for Makerspaces: A Stem Pilot Course

Paper presented at the American Society for Engineering Management 2018 International Annual Conference.

Abstract: Preparing undergraduate engineering students with the competencies needed for future work environments is a central objective of college engineering programs. Recently, access to 3D printers and other digital fabrication technologies in academic makerspaces has increased opportunities for students to engage with people and tools essential for improving their engineering and design competencies, and has led researchers to explore how to increase and measure student learning in these spaces. The literature reveals interests in and the need for exploring how makerspaces affect undergraduate student learning outcomes, but few universities are actively engaged in this type of research. The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) Libraries’ FabLab has endeavored to integrate their makerspace into the undergraduate curriculum and measure the learning that takes place when students engage in making. Toward this goal, a list of eleven transdisciplinary makerspace competencies, each with multiple dimensions, was proposed and tested across a diverse range of undergraduate courses between 2016-2018. This paper summarizes results of a senior-level Engineering Project Management course that participated in the program in Spring 2018. Competencies examined in this course were assembling effective teams and demonstrating understanding of digital fabrication processes. Homework-based interventions for both competencies were designed and integrated into a semester-long makerspace project. Mixed-methods including pre- and post-self-assessments, project rubrics, team member evaluations and oral presentations were used to assess and measure student learning. Preliminary results indicate that students gain competency in assembling effective teams and demonstrating their understanding of digital fabrication processes by completing projects in makerspaces.

You can download the full conference paper from UTA Libraries Research Commons.

Recommended citation:

Cantu, Jaime, & Martin K. Wallace. “Developing Student Learning Outcome Metrics for Makerspaces: A Stem Pilot Course.” Paper presented at the American Society for Engineering Management 2018 International Annual Conference, Coeur d’Alene, ID, October 17-20, 2018.

Maker Competencies and the Undergraduate Curriculum

Paper presented at ISAM 2018, International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces.

Abstract: The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries was awarded a $50,000 planning grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for FY 2017-2018 allowing us to develop a pilot program to explore course integration of makerspaces into the undergraduate curriculum. The goal of the pilot is to fashion case studies for integrating academic library makerspaces into undergraduate coursework. A minimum of two case studies at each of four selected partner sites (University of Nevada, Reno, UMass Amherst, Boise State University, and UNC Chapel Hill), as well as at our home institution, are currently under evaluation. Each case study represents a unique undergraduate course, faculty member, curricula, and group of students. Coordinators at each partner site identified faculty who were not only willing to integrate making into their courses, but who were also willing to include assessment of student learning over a range of competencies believed to be acquired when students complete project-based assignments in makerspaces. Upon successful completion of our pilot, faculty will provide the grant team ample feedback about the assigned projects, the learning that took place, and how they assessed that learning. Participating faculty come from wide variety of disciplines including Architecture, Art, Biology, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Education, English, Geology, History, Industrial Engineering, Mathematics, Philosophy, and Public Administration.

You can download the full conference paper from UTA Libraries Research Commons.

Recommended citation:

Wallace, Martin K., Gretchen Trkay, Katie Musick Peery, Morgan Chivers, and Tara Radniecki. “Maker Competencies and the Undergraduate Curriculum.” Paper presented at the International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces, Stanford, CA, August 3-5, 2018.

Preliminary Analysis of IMLS-funded Maker Literacies Pilot

Over the last year I’ve been busy with our IMLS-funded pilot program Maker Competencies and the Undergraduate Curriculum. The grant team will be spending the summer conducting our analysis and writing our report to the IMLS. I’ve got some preliminary analysis to share, and will post more over the summer as our results begin to gel. By the end of September 2018 we will have launched an official Maker Literacies website where we’ll post our full report and analysis, plus curriculum materials for each of the courses that participated in the pilot study. Visit the Thinking Outside the Stacks Blog to read my preliminary analysis post.

Expanding the Intellectual Property Knowledge Base at University Libraries: Collaborating with Patent and Trademark Resource Centers

Patent and Trademark Resource Centers are located in libraries throughout the U.S., with 43 being in academic libraries. With the importance of incorporating a knowledge of intellectual property (IP) and patent research in university curricula nationwide, this study developed and evaluated a partnership program to increase the understanding of IP and patent searching methods at universities that do not headquarter a PTRC. This peer-reviewed article describes the methods for establishing those partnerships, summarizes their results, and offers a list of best practices and lessons learned for establishing future partnerships.

Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship is an open access journal that publishes substantive content of interest to science and technology librarians. It serves as a vehicle for sci-tech librarians to share successful initiatives and innovative ideas, and to publish peer-reviewed or board-accepted papers, including case studies, practical applications, theoretical essays, web/bibliographies, and research papers relevant to the functions and operations of science and technology libraries in all settings. Through its columns ISTL also publishes reviews, opinions, and best practices.

You can read the full article in HTLM from the ISTL Website, or you can download a PDF of the pre-print from UTA Libraries Research Commons.

Recommended citation:

Wallace, Martin, and Suzanne Reinman. “Expanding the Intellectual Property Knowledge Base at University Libraries: Collaborating with Patent and Trademark Resource Centers.” Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, no. 88 (Winter 2018): doi:10.5062/F4JM27WK.

Library 2.017: Makerspaces

My presentation at Library 2.017: Makerspaces, “Competencies-based Course Integration of Academic Library Makerspaces,” was about the Maker Literacies Program at UTA Libraries. Please accept my apologies for failing to hit my record button until a few minutes into the presentation. You can download my slides to see the couple that were missing from the video. There were also some audio anomalies that were not my fault, and I apologize for those too 🙂

Continue reading Library 2.017: Makerspaces

International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) 2017

Several of us here at UTA Libraries had the privilege of attending and presenting our work at the International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, between September 24-27, 2017. I posted a report with lots of links on the UTA Libraries Thinking Outside the Stacks blog.