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Title: Investigating Why Students Choose to Become Involved in a University Makerspace through a Mixed-methods Study
Makerspaces have observed and speculated benefits for the students who frequent them. For example, previous studies have found that students who are involved in their campus’s makerspace tend to be more confident and less anxious when conducting engineering design tasks while gaining hands-on experience with machinery not obtained in their coursework. Recognizing the potential benefits of academic makerspaces, we aimed to capture what influences students to become involved in these spaces through a mixed-method study. A quantitative longitudinal study of students in a mechanical engineering program collected data on design self-efficacy, makerspace involvement, and user demographics through surveys conducted on freshmen, sophomores, and seniors. In this paper, the student responses from three semesters of freshmen level design classes are evaluated for involvement and self-efficacy based on whether or not a 3D modeling project requires the use of makerspace equipment. The study finds that students required to use the makerspace for the project were significantly more likely to become involved in the makerspace. These results inspired us to integrate a qualitative approach to examine how student involvement and exposure to the space are related. Using an in-depth phenomenologically based interviewing method, purposive sampling, and snowball sampling, six females, who have all more » made the conscious decision to engage in a university makerspace(s), participated in a three-series interview process. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed via emerging questions for categorical metrics and infographics of the student exposure and involvement in making and makerspaces. These findings are used to demonstrate 1) how students who do, or do not, seek out making activities may end up in the makerspace and 2) how student narratives resulting in high-makerspace involvement are impacted by prior experiences, classes, and friendships. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1733708
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10065026
Journal Name:
ASEE annual conference & exposition proceedings
ISSN:
2153-5868
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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