Maker education has increased tremendously in community settings and classrooms across the country. Maker education is learner-driven and hands-on, often collaborative, and may focus on solving a problem or designing an object or device. There is a growing need for assessment and evaluation tools and approaches to understand and improve the nature of maker learning and provide evidence for the value of maker pedagogy. This workshop will bring together approximately 25 researchers from formal and informal settings as well as practitioners to review current maker assessment and evaluation tools and examine the role those tools can play for informing research and practice. The workshop will identify areas where future work is needed, including designing assessment and evaluation that effectively addresses the interests and needs of diverse learners. The workshop will disseminate an online collection of these assessment and evaluation tools, a research brief, and several webinars sharing the results and recommendations of the conference.
The two-day, in-person conference will include pre-workshop surveys to determine and refine issues for consideration at the conference, identify a core set of readings and resources for conference participants, and to identify key topics for research briefings presented at the conference. The conference will include background briefings, hands-on try-outs of assessment tools, synthesis discussions, and identification of future directions for research and next steps. Resources developed from the workshop will be widely disseminated through workshop partner Maker Education’s website, an annual maker conference held at the University of Wisconsin, and through other publications reaching researchers and practitioners in informal and formal educational settings,
This project is funded by the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, which seeks to (a) advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments; (b) provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; (c) advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments; and (d) engage the public of all ages in learning STEM in informal environments.
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