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Full Paper: Implementing Classroom-Scale Virtual Reality into a Freshman Engineering Visuospatial Skills Course

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Conference

2019 FYEE Conference

Location

Penn State University , Pennsylvania

Publication Date

July 28, 2019

Start Date

July 28, 2019

End Date

July 30, 2019

Conference Session

M2C: Learning by Design 2

Tagged Topics

Diversity and FYEE Conference - Paper Submission

Page Count

10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33701

Download Count

19

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Paper Authors

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Jonathan R. Brown Ohio State University

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Jonathan Brown (B.S., M.S. Mathematics, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology; Ph.D. Materials Engineering, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology) is a research scientist in the Department of Chemical Engineering and a lecturer in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. His background is in computer simulations and theory of polymer glasses and block copolymers for energy applications. He teaches fundamentals of engineering at OSU and is interested in the use of VR in engineering education.

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Irina Kuznetcova The Ohio State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0001-6843-1905

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I am currently in the 5th year of the doctoral program of Educational Psychology at the Ohio State University. My research interests focus on the use of technology in education, including the design, implementation and assessment of technology-integrated curriculum. I have worked with Multi-User Virtual Environments (such as Second Life) and Virtual Reality for my projects, and currently I am pursuing the line of work integrating VR and mobile, desktop and tablet technology to improve students' visuospatial thinking skills.

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Ethan Kirk Andersen

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Ethan Andersen received his bachelors in engineering physics with a focus in computer science at The Ohio State University. His research has primarily been the implementation of technology for use in STEM education, as well as computational physics. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in physics at University of Colorado Boulder, where he can participate in research pertaining to physics, computer science and/or education.

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Nick H Abbott

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Ohio State University Mechanical Engineering student. I've done game design and programming as a hobby for 10 years. I'm interested in how we can create more immersion through VR and AR. I'm also interested in how to use technology in the classroom to teach complicated topics.

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Deborah M. Grzybowski Ohio State University

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Dr. Deborah Grzybowski is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. She received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and her B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University. Her research focuses on making engineering accessible to all students, including students with visual impairments, through the use of multiple pedagogy models including VR, art-infused curriculum, and 3D printed models.

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Christopher Douglas Porter The Ohio State University Department of Physics

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Dr. Porter obtained undergraduate physics degrees from Universitaet Leipzig, and from The Ohio State University. He completed his M. S. and Ph. D. in physics also at The Ohio State University, specializing in condensed matter theory. Dr. Porter now works in the area of physics education research in the OSU Department of Physics.

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Abstract

In this study, our team developed a virtual reality (VR) integrated curriculum for a freshmen engineering visuospatial thinking course. Visuospatial skills, especially understanding how a 2D image represents a 3D object, are known to be an important part of student success in engineering. To ensure a minimum level of visuospatial skills in later courses, the Ohio State University offers a course on visuospatial thinking for incoming engineering freshmen; it is required for students that score below 18/30 on the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test: Visualization of Rotations (PSVT:R). To help these students interrelate 2D images and 3D representations, we created a set of collaborative and analytical activities that the students engaged in with the help of VR technology. For this, we built custom smartphone VR applications for several of the modules in the Developing Spatial Thinking Workbook by Sheryl Sorby (ISBN 978-1-111-13906-3). Using hardware supplied by us (Google Cardboard headsets and smartphones), students completed VR activities in pairs (or groups of 3). Each partner had a turn with the VR application and communicated with their non-VR partner to complete interactive visuospatial problems. We evaluated progress using pre- and post-module quizzes, and gains were significantly higher when students were given the experimental VR instruction than when they were not. Students were also interviewed at the beginning and end of the course, explaining their thinking as they worked visuospatial problems. By using this smartphone-based approach, we were able to implement a VR intervention on the classroom-scale, with each student having simultaneous access to the VR content.

Brown, J. R., & Kuznetcova, I., & Andersen, E. K., & Abbott, N. H., & Grzybowski, D. M., & Porter, C. D. (2019, July), Full Paper: Implementing Classroom-Scale Virtual Reality into a Freshman Engineering Visuospatial Skills Course Paper presented at 2019 FYEE Conference , Penn State University , Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/33701

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