This activity can take 1-2 hours or up to an entire day, and should be revisited over time.
Inspired by evidence-centered design (ECD), we are breaking up the learning design process for our maker activities into three broad categories: the goal, evidence and activities. Often times the goals of making are presented broadly or at a theoretical level and it is the task of the educator to reveal these goals through observable evidence. The ultimate goal is to tie together the goal, evidence and activity to build a “chain of reasoning.”
A making program really values hacking and repurposing.
Ask participants to work in pairs (or small groups) and consider a learning goal for the following scenario: One of the ongoing goals for a makerspace is to foster collaboration (seek and share resources?). As an educator seeking to further the collaborative skills of your students, you need to think first, what does it look like for your students to collaborate (what is the evidence?) and what activities can you create to see that evidence? The participants will work on this for about 5-10 minutes. Each pair or small group will complete one learning tool.
As the participants work to identify evidence, they might come up with examples like talking to other students, or helping other students. However, we should encourage them to be specific: Is all kinds of talk evidence of collaboration? If not, what kinds of talk would you listen for? What does helping look like specifically? Are there silent ways of collaborating?
Once the participants have listed some examples of collaboration evidence, then they can list some activities that help them see their students collaborating. For now, these do not need to be all coherent. They can simply list different activities that help them see the students engaging in the kind of evidence they listed.
Encourage two or three groups of participants to share their evidence and activities. Encourage additional participants to compare/contrast what they generated with what was shared. Allow participants to express concerns, asks questions or offer suggestions. Did they find some tools or materials more or less amenable to collaborating?