Thank you UGS200H!

It’s hard to believe another semester is in the books! Over the 2016-17 academic year, I had the pleasure of working with 10 amazing undergraduates (along with Jeff & Bill) in UGS200H. UGS 200H = Undergraduate Honors Research Seminar. This was my first opportunity to co-facilitate a freshman research seminar and work with undergraduates, and as I expected, it was incredible! Our seminar was titled – A Maker Approach: Crowdsourcing Knowledge & Transforming Research into Meaning.

Course Description: 
Make a contribution to the knowledge and understanding of Maker Spaces at MSU! Experiences will include project – based learning and reflection on identifying the purpose, developing a literature review, identifying and implementing appropriate (mixed) research methods, analyses, visual and textual reporting, and engaging multiple audiences. Topics covered include research design, epistemology/ontology, disciplinary research lenses, methodologies, and skills development with various analytical software for quantitative and qualitative analyses.

Over the fall semester we explored various research methodologies and the Maker Movement broadly. (Tonia, they helped contribute to our MakerEd bibliography!) As the fall semester came to a close, the students broke into teams to conduct research along different lines of inquiry over the spring term.  My team decided to center their inquiry around a case study exploration of the following questions:

  1. How do makers think about the quality of making? How do they understand the concept of “good” in relation to what they do? In relation to what others do?
  2. What relationships do we see between space and making with regard to our question?

Luckily, they were able to tap into the amazing Lansing Makers Network for their research. A few weeks back, the teams presented their poster at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF). I’m proud of all of these amazing Spartans and wish them the best of luck in their future studies and scholarship.


Support a good cause and play KICKBALL

Batman Kickball #2

photo courtesy / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Need to let off some pre-finals/last week of class steam?? Come join us for an impromptu game of KICKBALL TODAY (Apr 28) at NOON!  We’ll be in the field behind Erickson/International Center.  Just look for the people kicking a ball around and join in! (Or, just come and be a spectator!)

Many of our friends were displaced by the devastating fire at the Trappers Cove apartment complex yesterday and we want to help out our fellow Spartans in their time of great need. We’ll have a bucket out accepting donations for the Mid-Michigan chapter of the American Red Cross. Look for the girl (me) with a bouquet of flowers and bucket. Any amount will go a long way in providing comfort to the 80 residents displaced by the fire.

See you tomorrow at noon!


After great pain, a formal feeling comes.
— Emily Dickinson

A man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it.

— Samuel Johnson

Keep right on to the end of the road.

— Harry Lauder

The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but the transference of bones from
one graveyard to another.

— Frank J. Dobie

The Wealth of Networks

I have a lot to catch up on …but this just rose to the top of the list!! I went to see a lecture by Yale Professor Yochai Benkler yesterday.  He has a fantastic way of conceptualizing and presenting the ideas of peer-production and a commons based culture! What is even BETTER is the fact that he makes his publications available on his website…including is book The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom.  DEAR READERS, YOU MUST DOWNLOAD THIS BOOK…I know most of you and I know you would enjoy having this on your hard drive.  For a shorter starting point you may also want to try Common Wisdom: Peer Production of Educational Materials….let’s start a discussion on this…or a book club or chapter club or something…it’s really good stuff from a different perspective!!!