Case study: the contributions of a FabLab to a Bachelor cursus in Occupational Therapy

The aim of this research is to explore the contributions of FabLabs in applied tertiary education (Bachelor University of Applied Sciences – UAS), and particularly in the form of hybrid teaching modules, combining academic subjects and maker experience. FabLabs can offer services to the professors of various academic fields to reinvent their teaching methodologies, incorporating making as a way to transmit knowledge and enhance student engagement. We have also established with higher education professors and lecturers in mind, the conditions for the implementation of such modules in order to guarantee their success. A pilot project has been conducted with occupational therapy students consisting of a one-semester module of 30 periods, dedicated to developing and prototyping in order to adapt toys and games to be used by children with cerebral palsy of the spastic hemiplegia type. The FabLab was the place where prototypes were made, but also where exchange, collaboration and creativity were catalysed. Our observations showed that the students developed three types of skills: technical (use of digital 3D CAD software and machines), occupational, in the field of occupational therapy (observation and analysis of the accessibility of the environment, solution-oriented approach aimed at increasing occupational performance and participation) and relational (creativity, agility, collaboration). Commitment and pleasure of learning were present throughout the module. The conditions for the success were the co-construction of the learning experience by both the professors and the labmanagers in charge of the FabLab, the establishment of a pedagogical scenario, and constant, open communication between them.

Miseret Jérôme
Nyffeler Nathalie
Délèze Noémie
Thomas Mélanie
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Mizeret, J., Nyffeler, N., Ray-Kaeser, S., Délèze, N., & Thomas, M. (2022). Case study: the contributions of a FabLab to a Bachelor cursus in Occupational Therapy. ITM Web of Conferences, 41.