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Geek Makerspace Labs

Located on the first floor of Crabbe Library in room 103, the Geek Makerspace is a collaborative, open and inviting space for EKU students to learn, create, and make together.

Curricular Integration & Pedagogy

What is a makerspace?

A makerspace is a physical space where people go to engage in making, but the maker mindset, which makes up the space, values tinkering, discovery, and positive failure.  It is a place where people go to experiment with how things work and use previously inaccessible tools to develop a project.

How do I get started?

Matching the values stated in your syllabus and assignment sheets with makerspace values can help students understand how to approach their work and will be an indication of how you value the maker mindset.  Shifting existing projects to meet maker expectations can be an easy way of gradually incorporating making into your course and experimenting with its outcomes.

How do I incorporate this into my class?

  1. Encourage a maker mentality.  Value positive failure, discovery attempts, and the articulation of process work.  Students often think about the end result, while reflecting on the process can be more helpful to troubleshooting their work.
  2. Designing the Learning Experience. Working from a maker mindset means that you are "creat[ing] the conditions for learning," rather than "prescrib[ing a] learning experience" (Brahms as qtd. In Schlageter, 2017).  This can, in fact, help students of all levels learn at their own paces (Burke, 2015), but comes with a different type of learning.  One of the most challenging concepts for most instructors will be the difference in learning rates and concepts.  Kurti, Kurti, and Fleming (2014) show that engaging in a maker mindset in the classroom means "recogniz[ing] that some peripheral concepts may not be learned by all students.  Yet students faced with a common challenge to design their own unique solutions will naturally come to some common understanding" (par. 5).  This type of interaction with concepts will ensure that students will be able to transfer their understanding of their (interactions) to new situations.  However, they also assert that a well-planned design [will] allow students to discover the concepts the teacher intended them to learn all along" (par. 4).  These methods also encourage collaboration and give students a chance to learn from other students as they develop team-building skills and consider alternate solutions.
  3. Distance Education. Distance education can take advantage of making as well, but due to the location of resources, this can look very different than a course that takes place on campus.  One option is to develop a virtual makerspace that looks much the same as a learning management system (LMS).  Instead of including directive modules that lead to a predetermined outcome or product, using the LMS as a virtual makerspace can offer collections of programs, apps, presentation interfaces, and so forth, allowing students options in  using their own ideas to work toward a certain understanding or outcome (Loertscher, 2015).