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Thinking Through Making

Thinking Through Making is a LSTA grant-funded program focused on making in and outside of the classroom. This project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from IMLS

Thinking Through Making workshops engage students in hands on, maker-centered projects and processes that encourage creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking through a multiliteracy approach. 

Cline Library invites faculty across all departments to APPLY for a Thinking Through Making workshop to have their course considered for incorporating one of the following artistic methods into their course or assignment. Through participating in this program you and your students will have access to integrated instruction, tools, resources, and the necessary supplies to complete their assignment/project.

 

Design & Build with Paper
Minimum time required: (1) 75 min class period or (2) 50 min class periods, plus time to work on projects outside of class.
Description: Students will learn about and create paper art and objects ranging from pop-up paper art, origami, complex paper cutting, book making, sculptures, and structures. Paper has many uses and qualities that make it the ideal material for students to experiment, design, and prototype with. This workshop will allow students to creatively apply engineering principles alongside formal art and design elements and concepts.

  Storytelling with Digital Tools
Minimum time required: (1) 75 min class period or (2) 50 min class periods, plus time to work on projects outside of class.
Description: Students will learn about sharing compelling stories through interactive timelines, online exhibits, and maps using open-access and free tools. Students can curate online collections or build an exhibit composed of digital images, scans, and files around a certain theme or project.  In this hands-on workshop, students will learn how to add and describe items to one of the many tools available, and how to create simple webpages to showcase their work. A Digital Desktop Studio, a Fotodiox Pro, 3D scanners, and other equipment is available for photographing 3D objects in support of creating portfolios and digital exhibits.

Data Visualizations
Minimum time required: (1) 75 min class period or (2) 50 min class periods, plus time to work on projects outside of class.
Description: Information and data can be packaged in visual and meaningful ways with proper organization, synthesis, and design practices that focus on comprehension and clarity of the overall message. This workshop(s) will lead students through the process of creating compelling data visualizations, infographics, and posters using data, statistics, and design elements, with an emphasis on visual literacy concepts.

Print Media with a Message
Minimum time required: (1) 75 min class period or (2) 50 min class periods, plus time to work on projects outside of class.
Description: Students will explore the process of sharing ideas and information in low-cost, unconventional ways. There are several different types of media that students could potentially make to share information in an informal, creative way including buttons, zines, stickers, flyers, posters/signs, stamps/linocut prints, and more. As part of this workshop, students will identify the message or information that they wish to communicate and then use a combination of text and image to do so in whatever format desired.

Apply for one of the workshops and your librarian will contact you shortly with next steps!

Why are we making in the classroom?
Making allows for an alternative to the research paper.

Alternatives can . . .

  • promote collaboration;
  • provide ways of using other strengths our students might have;
  • accustom students to different voices and modes of communication;
  • allow students to create work for a larger audience, and go beyond work that is only seen by the student and the professor;
  • create opportunities for making a contribution beyond the class to the college or to communities beyond NAU;
  • lighten the grading load.

Tips for successful making assignments & activities

You might need or want to . . .

  • work with a librarian or to design the assignment.
  • be clear about your reasons for creating the assignment in the first place. What problems, skills, or knowledge are you working to address?
  • make sure students understand the scope of the assignment or activity. If helpful and appropriate, give a limited range of choices.
  • make your evaluation criteria and expectations clear to students from the outset.
  • assign or devote class time to tasks that will help students develop the skills necessary to complete the assignment.
  • give the students a series of specific questions to help them structure their work.
  • set very clear expectations for the work; make these kinds of things explicit:
    • presentation of final work
    • elements of a completed project
    • kinds of research materials that will be acceptable/how to present research alongside creative projects
  • set intermediate deadlines for different parts of the project.