Undergraduate Education Program

Mount Saint Mary's University

Kim Middleton
Los Angeles, CA
$350,000
June 2018

Through the establishment of an interdisciplinary makerspace and expansion of related faculty resources and support, Mount Saint Mary’s University seeks to enhance critical thinking, engagement, and stimulate peer-to-peer learning among students throughout its traditional undergraduate programs.  Under the auspices of the University’s Center for Academic Innovation and Creativity, the project director will work with a group of faculty representing the humanities, fine arts, natural sciences, and health sciences, to promote and pilot makerspace pedagogy among the wider faculty.  To ensure accessibility for faculty and students with limited time and impacted schedules, the proposed project relies initially on the use of multi-week modules: one-to-three-week makerspace-based projects that can be embedded within existing curriculum with relative ease and minimal revision.  It is expected that, after faculty have had the opportunity to pilot embedded modules within courses and experience the benefits of this technology and pedagogy, many will subsequently elect to design or redesign entire courses based around this pedagogy.  This project connects makerspace training and staffing to the University’s novel Student Media Services program in order to further peer learning and encourage student “ownership” of the space.  Further, the types of learning and activities that makerspaces facilitate are considered to be “high-impact practices,” which have been linked to improved student outcomes, especially among underrepresented populations.  In light of the diverse population that Mount St. Mary’s serves, an additional outcome of this project is expected to be the generation of new knowledge about how to meaningfully engage underrepresented populations in these spaces.

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