Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fourth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Making It: Institutionalizing Collaborative Innovation in Public Higher Education
Sean McCarthy, Audrey Barnes, Keith S Holland, Erica Lewis, Patrice Ludwig, Nick Swayne

Last modified: 11-05-2018


This descriptive case study provides a broad overview of JMU X-Labs, an academic maker space (in other words, a teaching lab with fabrication and digital production technologies) that hosts team-taught, project-driven multidisciplinary courses. The JMU X-Labs serves the students and faculty of James Madison University[MSR-m1] , a mid-sized, public, and undergraduate-focused university in the United States. The narrative proceeds from two different but overlapping points of view: how courses at JMU X-Labs are designed and taught; and how administration of JMU X-Labs supports them. The authors refer to specific courses, pedagogical methods, and problem-solving strategies to illustrate the narrative, and they argue throughout that pedagogy and administration are indelibly intertwined in how the organization operates. Gesturing to the broad applicability and transferability of the JMU X-Labs model, the authors mark some of areas of further research that would benefit a more robust understanding of how the organization operates and grows. Finally, the authors speculate how the dynamics of this young and growing organization may answer some core and difficult questions pertaining to innovation in higher education.

[MSR-m1]James Madison University (JMU) Clearlyl referenced in abstract and opening paragraph below to explain institutional context as per reviewer request.


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