The Role of Maker Culture in Innovative Pedagogy
Strategist, Open Education Initiatives
Centre for Teaching and Learning, UBC
Liaison Librarian and Flexible Learning Coordinator
ed-tech, so one argument goes, will make education
more efficient, more scalable, more personalized. It
will liberate students from those terrible large lecture
halls… by videotaping the lectures and putting them
on the Internet….
The ed-tech that fuels maker [culture] does
something different. It recognizes that learning is
messy. It recognizes that small and local still
matters…[It] is personal learning.
Thinking is often regarded both in philosophic theory and in
educational practice as something cut off from experience, and
capable of being cultivated in isolation. In fact, the inherent
limitations of experience are often urged as the sufficient ground
for attention to thinking.
Education either functions as an instrument which is used to
facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the
present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the
practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal
critically and creatively with reality and discover how to
participate in the transformation of their world.
Construction that takes place "in the head" often
happens especially felicitously when it's supported
by construction of a more public sort "in the world" -
a sand castle or a cake, a Lego house or a
corporation, a computer program, a poem, or a
theory of the universe.
Research-engaged teaching involves more research and
research-like activities at the core of the undergraduate
….emphasises the role of the student as collaborators in the
production of knowledge. The capacity for Student as
Producer is grounded in the human attributes of creativity and
desire, so that students can recognise themselves in a world
of their own design.
In the end, an essay or an exam is an instance of
busywork: usually written in haste; for one particular
reader, the professor; and thereafter discarded.
•Learners work on problems that haven’t been fully solved or questions that
haven’t been fully answered.
•Learners share their work with others, not just their instructor.
•Learners are given a degree of autonomy in their work.
The teacher does not function as the primary source
of knowledge in the classroom. Instead, the professor
is viewed as a facilitator or ― coach who assists
students who are seen as the primary architects of
Teachers are a catalyst or helper to students who
establish and enforce their own rules … (they)
respond to student work through neutral feedback and
encourage students to provide alternative/additional
responses… (they) ask mostly divergent questions
and few recall questions.
Hancock, Bray and Nason (2003)
•Instructors facilitate learning through interaction with novice learner
•Instructors bridge the learning gap through scaffolding
•Instructors provide space for public dialogue and social interaction over the
learning that has occurred
What are the challenges/barriers to such an approach?
What impact do you think this shift has on learning outcomes?
UBC Case Studies
● Math students create a sharable, reusable
● Educators create a DIY Media Community to
support creation of media rich learning
● Librarian students create Readers’ Advisory
● Physics students create learning resources for
the course curriculum
Write a summary of an academic article.
Write a 12 page paper using archival material on the BC Gold Rush.
1. What resources are needed?
2. How does this shift change the nature of the activity/assignment?
3. How do you assess the activity?
Educational practices that we know work well: small
group discussion, collaboration, participatory, project-
based, and peer-to-peer learning, experimentation,
inquiry, curiosity, play.