University of Texas at Arlington


Thinking Beyond the Stacks


This year I had the wonderful opportunity to present at the TX STEM Librarians Conference on behalf of UT Arlington Libraries and the Maker Literacies Task Force. I talked about the progress the Task Force has made so far, our plans for a fall pilot test of the Maker Literacies program, and challenges that lie ahead. My presentation was the last one of the day, but it provided a perfect bookend to the morning keynote speaker Dr. Dominick Casadonte, the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas Tech University.

In his presentation, Dr....

Tags: maker literacy, TX STEM
image of jigsaw puzzle with learning written accross

In an attempt to find collaborators for a presentation proposal, I sent the following description to a few mailing lists:

My interest/research is in “maker literacies” and I’m investigating how makers teach and learn. This research will be used to develop assessable experiential learning outcomes to be integrated into a diverse range of course curricula at UT Arlington. By the time the Forum comes around, we will have almost completed a pilot of the program and will be able to report preliminary results. If any of you are doing similar things, let’s please...

Tags: maker literacy, experiential learning, learning theory, learning outcomes
image of jigsaw puzzle with learning written accross

At this early stage, my Task Force is primarily focused on brainstorming “generic” learning outcomes that can be mapped to specific curriculum goals for broad range of disciplines. For example:

The maker literate student [defines a realistic overall plan and timeline to acquire the needed ‘thing’].

We will brainstorm a large list of these outcomes; they can be very broad or very narrow at first, we’ll group them as appropriate into larger, more general, “performance indicators” and “standards” where naturally appropriate.

The outcomes will be...

Tags: maker literacy, learning outcomes

One of the things that my team is tasked with developing is a set of maker-based competencies that can be mapped to course learning outcomes. Since I have little experience in making, but a lot of experience with the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, I've decided to try to come up with something along those lines... something I'll temporarily call Maker Literacy Competency Standards.

Today I tried re-writing the Information Literacy Standards to create some rudimentary draft of maker literacy competency standards, and found that it just doesn’t...

Tags: maker literacy

When the concept of “maker literacy” first came to my attention, it was shortly after I began my new job, which just so happened to be right on the heels of a major department reorganization. My new department would now be known as the UTA Libraries Department of Experiential Learning and Undergraduate Research. We also got our fancy new titles, mine being the “Maker Literacies and Engineering Liaison Librarian”. All I knew up to this point was that I would be the library’s liaison to the College of Engineering and my job would have something to do with the UTA Library FabLab. Suddenly,...

Tags: maker literacy