University of Nevada, Reno (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 41-48
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1009
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
Higher education continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of a technologically advanced and increasingly connected world. In looking for ways to support constructivism outside the classroom, including discovery and active learning, one academic library chose to integrate resources and services which allowed users the opportunity to create, collaborate, and innovate in ways rarely seen outside the classroom. The acquisition of 3D printers and scanners supports the creation of new knowledge objects beyond traditional papers. Programmable drones, microcontrollers, and robotics provide unique opportunities for students, faculty, and community members both within and outside the STEM disciplines to learn coding and develop software outside the classroom. Virtual reality equipment continues to inspire students and faculty to explore novel applications beyond gaming in a wide variety of fields. The library became a hotbed of passion projects, with students learning new skills and literacies on their own time through active learning and discovery. Students are learning how to reverse engineer, 3D model, design circuit boards, and more. With librarians and expert student workers as guides, students, faculty, and community members can explore technologies they would have otherwise not had access to.

While students are learning more outside the classroom through discovery in the library, faculty have been able to start assigning more interactive projects and assignments utilizing the library’s resources. 3D modeling and printing assignments have become prevalent in many disciplines, providing students with much needed real world skills and experience. The laser cutter sees heavy use among engineering classes and art classes and provides a low point of entry to the makerspace It continues to bring in students and faculty from across the campus, as we encourage them to explore the possibilities fabrication holds in active learning and teaching. Discovery, innovation, and collaboration are everyday occurrences in this neutral space outside the classroom. The makerspace within the academic library provides new opportunities to all members of campus and is an effective tool in creative teaching and stimulating active learning.
Makerspaces, academic libraries, higher education.