Cindy Atman

Winter 2018

Examining Self-Directed Learning through Material Inquiry: Developing an Introductory Sewing Project For the CoMotion MakerSpace SewingArea


As design tools and rapid prototyping technology become more publicly available in informal setting like makerspaces, the availability of these tools (sewing machines, 3D printers, lasercutters, etc.) increases.  However, accessibility to these tools and the resources needed to learn to use them does not necessarily follow.

General Description

Throughout the quarter, we will investigate self-directed learning and scaffolding of learning resources in the CoMotion MakerSpace SewingArea (CmMsSa) using qualitative research techniques (material inquiry, ethnographic field notes, class discussions, and design inquiry)

You will work in pairs to complete a specific sewing project (a simple bag). Over the quarter you will complete your own version of the project but will work with a partner to capture and analyze that process.  As a group we will analyze self-directed learning, respond to potential designs for scaffolding learning in the space, and generate ideas supporting important learning resources in the space.

Requirements and Interest

  • 2 units
  • Weekly research meeting: time TBD based on schedules
  • 4 hours outside of weekly meeting engaging in work on project and documentation of project in pairs
  • Fill out this survey if you are interested:

If you are interested please fill out the survey linked above.  You are not required to have any previous experience with qualitative research, sewing, or the CoMotion MakerSpace. 

This research group will be led by PhD student Kathryn Shroyer, with guidance from Professor Cindy Atman.

If you have questions contact Kathryn Shroyer at