BiSSL MS student Samuel Blair has had his first, first-authored conference paper accepted to the American Society of Engineering Education 2021 annual conference! The conference was to be held in Long Beach, CA but unfortunately has since shifted to an entirely virtual format. The paper is titled “Bipartite Network Analysis Utilizing Survey Data to Determine Student and Tool Interactions in a Makerspace” and is a collaborative work with our partners at Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Julie Linsey and her MS student Henry Banks. The conference will take place July 26-29, 2021.
Abstract: “Engineering makerspaces are a powerful new tool in the educators’ toolbox. A growing body of empirical data demonstrates their benefits to student learning, but more needs to be done to ensure they meet their full potential. Analyzing the design of these spaces to maximize student tool interactions and identify barriers to entry supports goals for these spaces to be inclusive environments were all students are comfortable. The representation of student interactions with tools in a graph form enables analysis on the tools by mapping combinations between tools and shared student. The bipartite model of the network allows for students to be the “actors” while the tools are the “events” that students interact with. Using the one way interaction allows for a matrix simplifying the complex interactions in the space. The matrix can then be manipulated to yield important information about makerspaces. The results of this ongoing research propose advice regarding what tools and tool types are the most accessible to students, primarily high interaction tools such as basic 3D printers and handheld tools. Utilizing the analysis can also reveal how tools depend on higher interaction tools such as the advanced forms of 3D printing, as well as what student groups have may need extra support or outreach to increase their inclusion.”Blair, S., Banks, H., Linsey, J., & Layton, A. (2021). Ecosystem Modularity as a Guide for Makerspaces Evaluations. Paper presented at the ASEE 2021 Conference & Exposition, virtual.