Makerspaces Promoting Students’ Design Thinking and Collective Knowledge Creation: Examples from Canada and Finland

  • Janette HughesEmail author
  • Laura Morrison
  • Anu Kajamaa
  • Kristiina Kumpulainen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 265)


Despite the growing popularity of makerspaces in education, we currently have little understanding of the conditions and processes that promote students’ design thinking and knowledge creation in these digitally-enriched learning environments. To address these research gaps in current research knowledge, we draw on two ethnographic case studies on students’ maker activities situated in Canada and Finland. In the Canadian study, the focus is directed to analysing students’ design actions carried out in a five day long “microcycle” of learning by individual students in a Maker Lab. In the Finnish study, attention is directed to investigating forms of students’ collective knowledge creation during an elective course in a makerspace, The Fuse Studio. This paper shows that design thinking is a potentially fruitful way to build students’ global competencies and to approach knowledge creation in a makerspace environment as students engage in interest-driven making, requiring various levels of instructor/peer support, from independent making to guided inquiry.


Makerspaces Design thinking Knowledge creation Digital learning environment 


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janette Hughes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura Morrison
    • 1
  • Anu Kajamaa
    • 2
  • Kristiina Kumpulainen
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of Ontario Institute of TechnologyOshawaCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Educational SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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