In an effort to provide an understanding of active learning and the maker pedagogy, ASU Engineering Professors Nadia Kellam and Brooke Coley held a workshop in Can Tho, Vietnam on July 18-20, 2017.Titled “Inclusive Maker Pedagogies and the Power of Story for Innovative Engineering Education,” the three-day workshop drew 56 faculty and staff members from Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology.
Participants developed a deeper understanding of making and the possibilities to integrate maker pedagogies and active learning into their engineering courses. As there is a new makerspace at Saigon Hi-Tech Park and one in Danang, the workshop served to provide potential ways to utilize and collaborate with those spaces. As a major takeaway from the workshop, participants developed an educational innovation to be implemented in one of their courses this year as well a prospective evaluation plan for that innovation and a community for sustainable support throughout the academic year.
Particularly unique to this workshop for engineering educators was a focus on the power of story where participants were introduced to Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey.” By sharing the stories of faculty that had successfully transitioned to student-centered pedagogies in their classrooms, participants became aware of and empowered through their own stories as faculty and educators. The workshop also included an intentional focus on creating inclusive classrooms, which resulted in an awareness of the varied experiences of diverse students in their classrooms.
Participants shared with the instructors that although the nature of the workshop was very different than anything they had experienced before, they felt it was both powerful and transformative in enabling them to think outside of the box in their approaches to education. As a wrap-up to the workshop, participants were challenged to come up with a slogan that captured the essence of the workshop and what they would take with them back to their institutions. While there were several great slogans generated that addressed working with passion and breaking away from traditional molds, one that well-articulated the overall intent of the workshop was, “change the way, change the life.” By enhancing our pedagogical approaches as faculty and staff, we have the potential to greatly impact the outcomes and successes of students for generations to come and conveying that value indicates the success of this 2017 HCMUT workshop.
BY BROOKE COLEY