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If you build it, will they come? Student preferences for Makerspace environments in higher education

Event Date: June 3, 2017
Authors: Morgan Hynes, Wendy Hynes
Journal / Conference: International Journal of Technology and Design Education
Location: Purdue School of Engineering Education
Contact Name: Morgan Hynes
Contact Email: morganhynes@purdue.edu
The Maker Movement inspires people to express their creativity by making things in a self-directed and, often, collaborative learning endeavor. The excitement of the movement has spurred the development of various types of Makerspaces across the United States and the World to further enable people to make and innovate.

The education community has recognized the potential for Makerspaces as learning environments that can foster interdisciplinary collaboration and self-directed learning. As such, there is much excitement to create Makerspaces within K-12 schools, libraries, colleges and universities. However, contrary to the formal design process used to build many school facilities, successful grass-roots makerspaces are most often created when those with like-minded interests come together and adapt the building around them to fit their needs. The research in this paper focuses on the design of such spaces by applying the environmental preferences predictors psychology construct. The study surveyed 276 students from art and design, engineering, and liberal arts majors to better understand their preferences as related to images of eight different Makerspaces. The results are broken down by the four predictors of preference, major, and gender. The results highlight differences among the images along with design considerations for creating spaces that welcome a broader audience.

Related Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10798-017-9412-5