LEVERAGING PROTOTYPES TO SUPPORT SELF-DIRECTED SOCIAL LEARNING IN MAKERSPACES
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
Author: Jaskiewicz, Tomasz; Mulder, Ingrid; Verburg, Samuel; Verhij, Bob
Institution: 1: TU Delft, the Netherlands; 2: TU Delft, the Netherlands; 3: TU Delft, the Netherlands; 4: TU Delft, the Netherlands
Section: New Design and Engineering Education Paradigms
The “Maker Movement” signifies emergence of a cultural model of a society where anyone can become a creative maker. As part of this movement, various kinds of “Makerspaces” provide physical and social infrastructures that help unleash people’s intrinsic abilities to make, create, and innovate. In this way, makerspaces become loci where maker communities develop as communities of interest and communities of practice. In such communities, participants acquire skills and knowledge through selfdirected peer-learning and learning-by-doing, while leveraging each other’s practical expertise, individual motivations and enthusiasm. The presented work elaborates upon how maker communities within academic design engineering education and everyday-life contexts could better support their participants’ self-directed learning. Throughout two independent researches through design case studies, we investigated how these learning processes could be improved. Both cases involved the iterative development and assessment of service platforms for supporting the social learning processes of makers. One platform focused on documenting and sharing skills of makers, the other on documenting and sharing the making processes leading to a given artefact. Reflecting on the two platforms revealed two distinct aspects of encountered learning. The first aspect involves deepening and mutually encouraging development of individual expert skills. The second aspect involves multidisciplinary alignment during collaborations and peer-learning within a maker community, performed in teams encompassing complementary skills. The lessons learnt lead to proposing a conceptual framework, which aims to provide a support structure to improve self-directed social learning processes in makerspaces.