June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Computers in Education
Spatial ability is recognized as an important predictor for student success in STEM fields. Many different strategies have been employed as means for helping students develop these skills. The usage of device-driven augmented reality may prove to be a valuable strategy.
This study tested the use of augmented reality on smartphone and mobile tablet devices for developing spatial reasoning. An app was developed which allowed students both to move physically around a marker in order to view virtual objects from multiple angles as well as to reorient the marker. They also had the ability to rotate the objects along each of the major axes. Games were implemented in the app to support prediction of multiple step rotations. It was reasoned that combining the constraints possible with a digital tool, such as performing exact 90 degree rotations on particular axes, with the realism of augmented reality would provide a new way for students to practice spatial reasoning tasks.
To test the effects of this app, a group of first-year engineering students who performed poorly on the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test: Rotations (PVST:R) had the opportunity to work with this app in a spatial visualization support course during their first semester. They were compared with a like group of students that was presented with a more traditional means for learning spatial reasoning.
Multiple measures will be compared for these groups of students, including: • Performance on the PSVT:R spatial abilities test re-administered at the end of the course; • Student attitudes, including their confidence and enjoyment of spatial abilities tasks; • Observations of students as they worked with the app; and • Student comments in follow-up focus groups (both those students who used the app and those students who were introduced to the app only after completing the course).
The results of this study may demonstrate whether or not augmented reality can be an effective tool for developing spatial abilities. If it is a promising direction, perhaps other types of spatial skills could also be taught using this genre of applications.
Bell, J. E., & Hinds, T. J., & Walton, S. P., & Cugini, C., & Cheng, C., & Freer, D. J., & Cain, W., & Klautke, H. (2017, June), Board # 32 : Work in Progress: A Study of Augmented Reality for the Development of Spatial Reasoning Ability Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27831
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