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Pictorial Visual Rotation Ability of Engineering Design Graphics Students

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Spatial Ability & Visualization Training I

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.982.1 - 24.982.8



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Paper Authors


Jeremy V Ernst Virginia Tech

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Jeremy V. Ernst is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Virginia Tech. He currently teaches graduate courses in STEM education foundations and contemporary issues in Integrative STEM Education. Jeremy specializes in research focused on dynamic intervention means for STEM education students categorized as at-risk of dropping out of school. He also has curriculum research and development experiences in technology, engineering, and design education.

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Diarmaid Lane University of Limerick

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Diarmaid is a Lecturer in Technology Teacher Education at the University of Limerick. His research interests are in the areas of freehand sketching, cognition and spatial visualization. He is currently Director of Membership of the Engineering Design Graphics Division (EDGD).

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Aaron C. Clark North Carolina State University

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Aaron C. Clark is a Professor of Technology, Design, and Engineering Education within the College of Education and is the Director of Graduate Programs and Associate Department Head for the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education. He has worked in both industry and education. Dr. Clark's teaching specialties are in visual theory, 3-D modeling, technical animation, and STEM-based pedagogy. Research areas include graphics education, game art and design, scientific/technical visualization and professional development for technology and engineering education. He presents and publishes in both technical/technology education and engineering. He has been and continues to be a Principle Investigator on a variety of grants related to visualization and education and has focused his research in areas related to STEM curricula integration. Dr. Clark has been a member of the Engineering Design Graphics Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) since 1995; and has served in leadership roles and on committees for the Division since that time, as well as for the K-12 Outreach Division. He has also served in various leadership roles in disciplines related to Career and Technical Education. Dr. Clark is recognized as a Distinguished Technology Educator by the International Technology Engineering Education Association. He currently consults to a variety of businesses, educational agencies and organizations.

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Pictorial Visual Rotation Ability of Engineering Design Graphics StudentsThe ability to rotate visual mental images is a complex cognitive skill. It requires thebuilding of graphical libraries of information through short or long term memory and thesubsequent retrieval and manipulation of these towards a specified goal. Thedevelopment of mental rotation skill is of critical importance within engineering designgraphics. It promotes the ability to comprehend complex engineering drawings,communicate design ideas through freehand sketching and develop CAD modelingstrategies. Considering this, exploratory development research was conducted in effortsto investigate student ability levels measured by parallel pictorial items of an existinggeometric mental rotation measure. Images of rotated general consumer objects werecaptured and composed in a corresponding format to that of the Purdue SpatialVisualization Test: Visualization of Rotations. An expert review panel fromengineering/technical graphics was convened to analyze consistency of format, rotation,and solutions of the corresponding pictorial items instrument. A group of post-secondaryEngineering Design Graphics students were randomly administered the Purdue SpatialVisualization Test: Visualization of Rotations where the remainder of the group wasadministered the pictorial item instrument. The developed pictorial instrumentrepresented orientation familiarity while geometric forms in the Purdue SpatialVisualization Test: Visualization of Rotations represented unfamiliar structures.Comparative analyses were conducted and differences identified pertaining to studentabilities in mental rotation of geometric forms and pictorial visual rotation abilities.Summary statistics, frequency analyses, and hypothesis testing uncovered that studentmental rotation abilities of geometric forms collectively exceeds that of ability ofpictorial rotation ability.

Ernst, J. V., & Lane, D., & Clark, A. C. (2014, June), Pictorial Visual Rotation Ability of Engineering Design Graphics Students Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22915

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