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Development of a Spatial Visualization Assessment Tool for Younger Students Using a Lego™ Assembly Task

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Engineering Design Graphics Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34452

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34452

Download Count

113

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Paper Authors

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Nathan Delson UC San Diego

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Nathan Delson, Ph.D. is an Associated Teaching Professor at the University of California at San Diego. He received a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and his interests include robotics, biomedical devices, product design, and engineering education. He was a co-founder and past president of Coactive Drive Corporation (currently General Vibration Corp.), a company that provides haptics and force feedback solutions. He is currently co-founder of eGrove Education Inc. which develops educational software for spatial visualization. He teaches hands-on design and entrepreneurship courses. His interests in engineering education include increasing student motivation, teamwork, and integration of theory into design projects.

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Lelli Van Den Einde UC San Diego and eGrove Education Inc.

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Van Den Einde is a Teaching Professor in Structural Engineering at UC San Diego and the President of eGrove Education, Inc. She incorporates education innovations into courses (Peer Instruction, Project-based learning), prepares next generation faculty, advises student organizations, hears cases of academic misconduct, is responsible for ABET, and is committed to fostering a supportive environment for diverse students. Her research focuses on engagement strategies for large classrooms and developing K-16 curriculum in earthquake engineering and spatial visualization.

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Jessica Tuazon

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Daniel Yang UC San Diego

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Daniel Yang is a PHD student in the mechanical engineering department at UC San Diego. He specialized in robotics and control with an interest in engineering education.

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Abstract

In recent years, it has increasingly been recognized that spatial visualization skills are important in supporting student success in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education and retention of these students in STEM careers. Many first year college engineering programs and high schools with pre-engineering curriculum have incorporated spatial visualization training into their courses. However, there is no reason why spatial visualization training could not occur at a much younger age, like elementary school. Often at the high school and college level, the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test: Rotations (PSVT:R), which is recognized as a gold standard assessment tool, is used to measure students’ spatial skills learning gains. The PSVT:R is a 20 minute timed test consisting of 30 three-dimensional rotations problems. While the PSVT:R test has been well validated, there are benefits to developing alternative methods of assessing spatial visualization skills suitable for elementary school grades. Researchers at XXX developed an assembly pre- and post- test based upon a timed Lego™ exercise. Students are timed to see how long it would take them to build small Lego shapes using only a picture of the final assembly, but no instructions. The test was implemented at the beginning and then at the end of the quarter/semester. The beauty of this assessment is that it lends itself well to K-12 students. The 20 minute, timed PSVT:R test is too challenging for elementary aged children and is not engaging.

In order to validate the new instrument, the Lego™ Assembly test was implemented in a pilot study in 2 college freshman engineering courses using students who could do both the PSVT:R and the Lego Assembly™ assessments. At the beginning of the class all students took the PSVT:R test, and half the students performed a Lego™ assembly of one shape and the other half did the assembly test with another shape. During the class the students completed spatial visualization training which taught them how to sketch orthographic and isometric assignments using a mobile sketching app. At the end of the class the PSVT:R test was repeated for all students. The Lego Assembly™ test was also completed, but the students switched which shape they were building. This approach allowed us to normalize the difficulty of the assembly tasks based upon the average time it took to build the shapes in the pre-test. The Lego Assembly™ test was first implemented in winter and spring of 2018. The data showed a correlation of the R-Squared of 0.11 between the assembly times and the PSVT:R scores in pre-test and 0.14 in post-test. However, analysis of the assembly times indicated that the difficulty of the 2 Lego shapes were significantly different, which could skew the normalization of the assembly times. Accordingly, the test was repeated in winter and spring 2019 with Lego shapes of similar difficulty. This paper describes the results of the assembly tess in all 4 classes, and its suitability for a spatial visualization assessment for elementary school age students.

Delson, N., & Van Den Einde, L., & Tuazon, J., & Yang, D. (2020, June), Development of a Spatial Visualization Assessment Tool for Younger Students Using a Lego™ Assembly Task Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34452

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