Best Practices for Creating and Leading Active-Learning Workshops in Academic Makerspaces




McCue, Richard
Huculak, J. Matthew
Johnson, Dani K

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International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces 2019


Workshops are effective tools for introducing makerspace technologies. Active-learning workshops where face-to-face time is spent working on projects are well received by students, especially non-engineering students. Flipped-learning pedagogies facilitate primarily hands-on workshops by moving instruction into pre-workshop activities. Effective flipped workshops start with learning outcomes which are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. In-class activities should be active, and contextual – just-in-time learning, not just-in-case learning. Student choice and relevance motivate students in their learning. Differentiation through pre-workshop instruction and modularized face-to-face activities allows learners to work at their own pace and choose what interests them, rather than a forced march tutorial/lecture. Lastly, instructors should lead work-shops as “guides on the side” rather than “sages on the stage.” This paper, and associated linked documents, serves a guide for creating and running active-learning workshops in academic makerspaces.



Makerspace, Pedagogy, Active Learning, Libraries, Academic Makerspaces, Academic Libraries