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Title: I Played a Song with the Help of a Magic Banana: Assessing Short-term Making Events
Purpose Designers of learning experiences are concerned with how people learn across a range of timescales from a semester to a single moment in time. And just as designing experiences at different timescales requires unique goals, tools, and processes, measuring what people learn from their interactions is also timescale-specific. The aim of our work is twofold: 1) To understand how learners describe their experiences with short-term, introductory maker experiences and; 2) To test a method for assessing learners’ experiences authentic to short-term learning. Design We collected written responses from participants at a two-day event, STEM Center Learning Days. Through an analysis of 707 unique instances of learner responses to participation in drop-in maker activities, we examined how participants describe their short-term learning experiences. Findings We found that although some activities appear to onlookers to create passive experiences for learners, these seemingly passive moments have a significant impact on learners. In addition, some learners described themselves as working in tandem with tools to make something work and other learners viewed the tools as working autonomously. We found that our assessment method allowed us to gain an understanding of how learners describe their experiences offering important implications for understanding short-term learning events. Originality/ Implications Our findings provide researchers studying short-term learning in more » its natural setting a new method to understand how learners make sense of their individual experience. Further, designers of short-term learning experiences may gain insights into their unique activities and indications of where additional guidance and scaffolds will improve small learning moments. Keywords Makerspaces, STEM, assessment « less
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Information and learning sciences
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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