Purpose: This paper aims to compare two types of prompts, encouraging participants to think about real-world examples or engineering principles to show how these two approaches can result in vastly different design practices. Design/methodology/approach: Two studies (N = 20, N = 40) examine the impact of two different prompts. Non-expert students, from high school and university, completed a hands-on, engineering design task in pairs. Half were prompted to ideate using real-world examples, while the other half were prompted to ideate using engineering principles. The findings are based on human coding and artifact analyses. Findings: In both studies, and across multiple measures, students in the principle-based condition performed better than students in the example-based condition. Research limitations/implications: A seemingly small difference in how students are prompted or encouraged to approach a problem can have a significant impact on their experience. The findings also suggest that leveraging engineering principles, even when those principles are only loosely formed, can be effective even for non-experts. Finally, the findings motivate identifying student reasoning strategies over time as a potential means for assessment in Makerspaces. Practical implications: Encouraging makers to think about different ways for approaching problems can be an important way to help them succeed. It may also be a useful way to chronicle their learning pathway. Originality/value: To the author's knowledge, explicitly looking at ideation strategies has not been widely discussed within the Maker community as a way to support learners, or as a way to evaluate learning.
- Collaborative learning
- Design process
- Engineering design
- Problem solving
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Library and Information Sciences