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Comparison of Online Versus Paper Spatial Testing Methods

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Visualization Within Engineering Design Graphics Education Session 1

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.381.1 - 26.381.11



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Paper Authors


Norma L Veurink Michigan Technological University

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Norma Veurink is a Senior Lecturer in the Engineering Fundamentals Department at Michigan Technological University where she teaches introductory engineering courses and a spatial visualization course designed for engineering students with poorly developed spatial visualization skills. Ms. Veurink manages several summer programs that introduce middle and high school students to engineering. She is active in the Engineering Design Graphics Division of ASEE.

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A. J. Hamlin Michigan Technological University

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AJ Hamlin is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals at Michigan Technological University, where she teaches first-year engineering courses. Her research interests include engineering ethics, spatial visualization, and educational methods. She is an active member in the Engineering Design Graphics Division of ASEE and is currently serving as the Associate Editor of the Engineering Design Graphics Journal.

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Comparison of On‐line versus Paper Spatial Testing Methods Spatial visualization skills have been shown to be critical to the success of engineers and engineering students, and the assessment and remediation of those skills is growing in engineering curricula across the country.  At ______ University, spatial skills of freshmen engineering students have been tested with the use of the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test:  Rotations (PSVT:R) since 1993.  This test has traditionally been administered with paper tests where students record their answers on a scantron form.  Due to changes in university computing resources in the 2013‐2014 academic year, the opportunity arose to test the freshmen through a Learning Management System (LMS).  In the fall of 2014, over 450 of the engineering freshmen were administered the PSVT:R with the traditional paper test method, while approximately the same number took the test through the LMS.   Testing half of the students with each method allowed for a comparison to be made between the two testing methods.  Although students are told not to make marks on the paper version of the test, several students do so.  Testing students on‐line removes this opportunity to make marks and may also reduce students’ use of other tactile motions in solving the rotational problems.  This paper will compare scores from the paper version of the test with scores on the on‐line version of the test to determine if students perform equally on the on‐line and paper forms of the test.  Because spatial test scores are related to intelligence, Math ACT scores of the two groups will be compared to determine if there are differences between the two groups.  These analyses will also be performed by gender and ethnicity. 

Veurink, N. L., & Hamlin, A. J. (2015, June), Comparison of Online Versus Paper Spatial Testing Methods Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23720

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