Making’ brings ideas to life through the acts of designing, inventing, and building something personally meaningful. As an instructional approach, making can harness the processes of fabrication to promote specific learning outcomes. To support this innovative teaching practice, Noyce recipients at the University of Texas UTeach program (Award #1557155) can participate in UTeach Maker, a micro-credentialing program that helps preservice STEM teachers bring maker-centered instruction into learning environments.
Each participant in UTeach Maker has a personal mentor, participates in ongoing maker professional development, and creates a Maker Showcase as an open portfolio. This portfolio is a publicly accessible, openly networked platform that allows participants to capture, curate, and share work. It serves to highlight the creator’s unique voice, abilities, and interests.
The open nature of the Maker Showcase allows participants to bring in work from multiple aspects of their lives. Evidence of accomplishments may include photos, reflections, coursework, and artifacts that represent their progress. Once complete, the Showcase is submitted to a national leader in maker education for feedback using a rubric. Each participant also presents their Showcase publicly. The micro-credential is issued once the presentation and rubric criteria are met.
The Maker Showcase has proven valuable in showing employers what participants know and are able to do. Furthermore, the participant experience of creating a Showcase models and supports the use of open portfolios with their own STEM students. Additional information about open portfolios and their use in The UTeach Maker micro-credentialing process can be found at What is a Maker Showcase?