In light of growing interest in the maker movement and electronic textiles (e-textiles) as an educational technology, the purpose of this paper is to characterize competence change in undergraduate students who participated in a semester-length course that used e-textiles.
This qualitative and exploratory research study used semi-structured pre- and post-interviews with undergraduate students (N=7) thinking aloud through novel tasks in order to understand their learning from a semester-long course involving e-textiles. This design was intended to elicit student thinking with commercial toys that differed from the types of projects they had completed in their course. A coding scheme was developed and organized into an analytical rubric to map depth of understanding in the three spheres of circuitry, computation, and crafting. Select cases of pre-post change were identified to illustrate growth in specific content spheres.
Students’ ability to reason through novel tasks showed growth in each sphere, provided that the student did not begin with a full level of sophistication in a particular area during the pre-interview. Although students may not reach normative or expert-like competence, there are demonstrable indications of growth for each of the dimensions.
As e-textiles are increasingly turned to educationally, the creation and presentation of a rubric for describing competence in three spheres, especially the previously understudied area of crafting knowledge in e-textiles, is itself a useful contribution to the field. This is also an extension of e-textiles learning research into undergraduate instruction, an as-yet understudied setting for maker education.
Lee, V.R. and Fields, D.A. (2017), "A rubric for describing competences in the areas of circuitry, computation, and crafting after a course using e-textiles", International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, Vol. 34 No. 5, pp. 372-384. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJILT-06-2017-0048Download as .RIS
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