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This work in progress compares two different implementations (A & B) of a spatial skills training program to investigate the effects of the length of training and incentives to encourage persistence on improvement in spatial ability. In implementation A, students are required to complete SVS training and their scores on measures of spatial ability are used to determine part of their course grade. In implementation B, students are again required to complete SVS training but to a greater degree than in A, and with course credit given based on the amount of training completed and not SVS test score. In both implementations, student spatial ability was measured using the PSVT:R both pre- and post-training, and students in both cohorts A & B started and ended up at a similar spatial skill level. The software based training was found to be effective in improving the spatial ability of the lowest performing students who scored less than 70% (passing score) on the pre-test. Approximately 65% of these students who did not initially pass the PSVT:R were able to pass after completion of the training. Additionally, the lowest performing students improved their score significantly on the post-training PSVT:R regardless of the amount of training they completed; however the change in PSVT:R test score and amount of training was found to be weakly correlated for the low SVS group in one cohort and moderately correlated in the other. Persistence in the training was also measured and yielded an interesting result in that the students with the lowest persistence in Cohort B had the highest average initial test score, yet came out with the lowest post-training pass rate, perhaps indicating persistence is a critical factor in SVS improvement. Future work will seek to better define measured variables such as persistence and amount of training with additional data, as well as to examine the effect of confounding factors such as taking a design course itself on improvement of spatial ability.
Fontaine, M., & Van Den Einde, L. (2022, August), Effects of training program implementation on improvement in spatial ability Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41894
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