June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Despite the fact that Mechanics of Materials (MM) course is laden with spatial concepts, the role of spatial skills in the learning of MM course has not been investigated adequately. This study investigated the relationship between students’ performances of the MM course measured by the Mechanics of Material Concept Inventory Test and their cross sectioning ability measured by the Santa Barbara Solids Test. Participants are the freshman and sophomore students mostly majoring in civil and mechanical engineering (CE and ME) at six colleges across the United States. While CE and ME students performed almost equally on the two tests, the correlations between MMCI and SBST and its subtest scores on vertical cuts of joined objects and oblique cuts of simple objects were higher for CE than for ME students. As the results, the percentages of variance explained by cross-sectioning abilities in the performance of Mechanics of Materials course were higher for CE than for ME students. It was interpreted that a good cross-sectional reasoning skill is more important in learning the MM course for CE students than it is for ME students. Implications for instructions and future research included infusing proper spatial training activities in the course to improve students’ success and using SBST and its sub-tests to predict students’ learning outcomes of MM and other similar courses.
Ha, O., & Brown, S. A. (2017, June), Spatial Reasoning Difference between Civil and Mechanical Engineering Students in Learning Mechanics of Materials Course: A Case of Cross-sectional Inference Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28836
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