How can maker skills fit in with accreditation demands for undergraduate engineering programs?

Aubrey Wigner, Micah Lande, Shawn Jordan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


In this paper, the skills Makers are learning are categorized according to their fit with existing and proposed ABET standards. Makers, both young and adult alike, learn a variety of skills to create technically sophisticated artifacts of personal interest. Here we argue that making (open ended, student led project based learning) and the Maker Mindset can provide a useful template for teaching some ABET applicable skills and attitudes. This paper demonstrates that 3/4 of makers are learning how to communicate technical details to a wider audience, 1/2 are learning valuable techniques to foster lifelong learning, 1/2 are learning how to apply engineering knowledge to solve problems, 1/2 are learning specific skills applicable to electrical engineering and manufacturing engineering programs, 1/3 are working on multidisciplinary teams, and 1/3 are designing systems with realistic constraints. Each of the above categories is part of ABET's accreditation process for engineering programs. Making offers a potential lens to highlight those areas which may be lagging in a more traditional engineering education. As part of ABET accreditation criteria, universities are asked to demonstrate continuous improvement. For many this means opening maker spaces and bringing project-based learning pedagogies and hands-on laboratory experiences to their undergraduate engineering programs. There is a tension rooted in ABET accreditation standards (current and proposed) for what is expected to be taught in computing and engineering undergraduate programs, how to assess it, and what is valued about the enterprise of engineering education. With recent proposed changes to ABET student learning outcomes, this work can inform and highlight practices for learning outcomes that are otherwise undervalued (those that will be contracted or combined), as well as present alternative approaches to disciplinary knowledge construction and technical competence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
StatePublished - Jun 26 2016
Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 29 2016


Other123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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