Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201800228
Mastering Tinkering
Course info
Course module201800228
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact E.C. Dertien
Examiner E.C. Dertien
Contactperson for the course E.C. Dertien
dr. A.H. Mader
Academic year2022
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
Goal of this course is to equip the students with improved knowledge on the concepts underlying tinkering and its applications. The notion of scaffolding and its application in creative sessions such as ideation workshops and co-design or participatory design formats. After finishing this course students will have sufficient skills for designing their own sessions, formats and/or tool sets tailored for their own work and projects, as well as applying them in external contexts
Tinkering is a powerful hands-on method for exploration, understanding, and creativity. This (un)systematic method can be applied as a tool or approach in many professional domains. We will reflect on the specifics for the domains of (interaction technology) design, education, art (critical making), and engineering.

In this course, we will take a better look at the fundamental concepts underlying this seemingly undirected and playful way of making and learning. When applied well these concepts can unleash a wealth of creativity and be used as a very powerful tool for learning and gaining insight. We argue that there is a strong connection between tinkering and academic work - even go so far as to say that tinkering might be at the heart of academic thinking.

In the course, we will analyse the settings (environment, facilitation, material properties) that enable a successful tinkering session.
  1. Tinkering as an academic method
  2. Hands-on thinking and Scaffolding, gamification of the process
  3. The power of Toolkits and Seed Technology
  4. Application domains
  5. Case studies
  6. Session design
  7. Session try-out
  8. Evaluation of session outcomes and wrap up
During the course, you have to work on a number of smaller assignments which we use for show&tell and discussion during the sessions. The course will be assessed by an individual essay where you reflect on prior tinkering experiences, tinkering in your current academic program and tinkering applied in your (future) professional domain. The second part is a group project resulting in the design of a tinkering playground including tooling and materials for a specific (professional) context. This design has to be tested and evaluated, and results will be presented during a poster and demo session.       
Participating study
Master Interaction Technology
Participating study
Master Robotics
Required materials
Recommended materials
Course material
the Art of Tinkering, Exploratorium
Course material
Make: tinkering (available as ebook)
Course material
Invent to Learn: making, tinkering and engineering in the classroom
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Assignments, Presentation

Kies de Nederlandse taal