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Not all evidence is created equal: assessment artifacts in maker education

Louisa Rosenheck (Playful Journey Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Grace C. Lin (Playful Journey Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Rashi Nigam (Playful Journey Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Prasanth Nori (Playful Journey Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Yoon Jeon Kim (Curriculum and Instruction, UW Madison)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 15 May 2021

Issue publication date: 16 July 2021

136

Abstract

Purpose

When using embedded, student-centered assessment tools for maker education, understanding the characteristics of a body of evidence can help teachers guide the assessment process. This study aims to examine assessment artifacts from a makerspace program and present a set of qualities that emerged, which researchers and maker educators can use to evaluate the quality of evidence before interpreting it and making claims about student learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used the interpretive analysis approach to identify salient qualities in a body of evidence of maker learning. Data sources included student assessment artifacts, researchers’ analytic memos, notes on the coding and analysis process, background stories and field observations.

Findings

The study found that the assessment artifacts generated by students aligned with the maker-related target skills. A set of qualities was produced that can be used to describe the strength of a body of evidence and help determine whether it is appropriate to be used in the meaning making phase.

Practical implications

The qualities identified in this study can be directly incorporated into the embedded assessment toolkit to provide feedback on the strength of evidence for learning in makerspaces.

Originality/value

Assessment methods for maker education are nascent, and ways to describe the quality of a student-generated body of evidence have not yet been established. This study applies existing knowledge of embedded assessment and reflective practice toward the creation of a new way of assessing skills that are difficult to measure.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The implementation of this makerspace program was made possible by funding from Shell. The authors would also like to thank ATL teacher Revathy Gurumoorthy, and Prasanna Sundaram from Augmented Understanding, for their help and support during this project.

Citation

Rosenheck, L., Lin, G.C., Nigam, R., Nori, P. and Kim, Y.J. (2021), "Not all evidence is created equal: assessment artifacts in maker education", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 122 No. 3/4, pp. 171-198. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-08-2020-0205

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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