Seven years of plenty? Learning at, with, through, from and for the FabLab at Hogeschool Rotterdam
Publication of Creating 010
P. Troxler, M. Mostert-van der Sar, | Article | Publication date: 28 September 2018
Since 2011, Hogeschool Rotterdam (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences) operates a FabLab specialized in sensing, data processing and digital fabrication. The lab acted primarily as an educational infrastructure for electives and course modules within minors, and it was a making infrastructure for students from a broad range of disciplines. The lab also served as a breeding ground for pedagogic approaches in maker education. Its impact went beyond the lab-related courses and had a rather substantial impact on introducing maker education into educational practice within the University. The lab equally was a starting point for primary and secondary schools to learn about and begin to develop their own maker education approaches. Many experiences were mainly shared between the people working at and for the lab. This paper brings together the scarcely and scatteredly documented experience of the seven years working on and learning about maker education through the lab. It aims to contribute to the discussion about what maker education and "fab learning" might develop into in the years to come. Key learnings from seven years of FabLab at Hogeschool Rotterdam are primarily reflected in the design and redesign of the courses related to the lab and elsewhere in the University. Current challenges include rejuvenating the lab approach, transferring its success to new labs being established and to more general educational practices, and addressing issues of sustainability, transition and ethics.