Making STEAM-Based Professional Learning: A Four-Year Design-Based Research Study


  • Dr. Janette Hughes Ontario Tech University
  • Laura Morrison Ontario Tech University
  • Jennifer Robb Ontario Tech University



teacher professional learning, makerspaces, maker pedagogies, design-based research, STEAM


This article reports on the evolution of a STEAM-based teacher professional learning program designed to focus on maker pedagogies. Design-Based Research methodology was used to frame three iterations of professional learning sessions, which collectively involved more than 85 teachers in Ontario, Canada. The article describes the three iterations of teacher professional learning related to a maker approach, reports on what we learned from each iteration and how we modified the pedagogical approach based on the findings, and includes discussion on the implications for future professional learning in maker education. 

Author Biographies

Dr. Janette Hughes, Ontario Tech University

Janette Hughes is Professor and Canada Research Chair, in Technology and Pedagogy at Ontario Tech University. She is the recipient of multiple research and teaching awards. Janette is a prolific author and presenter, sharing her work both nationally and internationally in prestigious scholarly and professional journals, keynote talks, and conferences.

Laura Morrison, Ontario Tech University

Laura Morrison is a research project manager in the STEAM3D Maker Lab in the Faculty of Education at Ontario Tech University. Laura holds an Education Doctorate from the University of Calgary with a focus on promising practices associated with online pre-service teacher education.

Jennifer Robb, Ontario Tech University

Jennifer A. Robb holds a Master of Arts from Ontario Tech University’s Faculty of Education and is currently a research assistant with the STEAM-3D Maker Lab at Ontario Tech University. She is passionate about the role of technology to promote meaningful, authentic, and equitable education, which drives her work with learners of all ages.


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