Information practices during 3D modelling in a public library makerspace: generating ideas, seeking help and iterative trial and error

Information practices during 3D modelling in a public library makerspace: generating ideas, seeking help and iterative trial and error

Xiaofeng Li
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Ross J. Todd
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Abstract

Introduction. This study aims to understand young people’s information practices when they participate in 3D modelling programs in an informal learning environment – public library makerspace.
Methods. Situated in a social constructivist meta-theoretical framework, this study takes a qualitative approach applying Dervin’s Sense-Making theory and Savolainen’s concept of Everyday Life Information Seeking. Semi-structured Sense-Making time-line interviews and video-recorded field observations were conducted.
Analysis. Data was analysed in an inductive way, following the iterative constant comparison technique to generate themes and sub-categories regarding information practices.
Results. Three key information practices enacted by young people included generating ideas, seeking help, and iterative trial and error. In the practice of generating ideas, young people largely drew upon pervasive cultural resources and remixed them for their own creation. Other practices of generating ideas included using past experience, applying personal interests and aesthetic, and serendipitous encountering. Seeking help was another information practice that young people reported when they encountered questions. It appears that perceived expertise and authority, and social familiarity played a role in deciding whether seeking help from the facilitator or peers. Further, young people often engaged in the practice of iterative trial and error to solve problems in their experiences with 3D modelling.
Conclusions. The findings highlight the cultural, social and individual aspects of information practices among young people. This paper contributes to the emerging body of literature on young people’s information practices in informal learning settings.

Keywords. information practice, everyday life, youth, public libraries

Knowledge creation and information intermediation
Location: Aula Magna Date: September 21, 2016 Time: 5:31 pm - 5:50 pm Ross J. Todd Ross J. Todd Xiaofeng Lee Xiaofeng Li