Asee peer logo

Spatial Reasoning Difference between Civil and Mechanical Engineering Students in Learning Mechanics of Materials Course: A Case of Cross-sectional Inference

Download Paper |

Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

MET Papers 1

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

9

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28836

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28836

Download Count

175

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Oai Ha Western Carolina University

visit author page

Dr. Oai Ha is currently an Assistant Professor in mechanical engineering in the School of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University. He was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at the Oregon State University, working in the Engineering Cognition Lab on several engineering education research projects. He holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Utah State University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Technology in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. His research interests include building energy efficiency, computer simulations, spatial visualization skills, educational data mining, learning analytics, and cognitive processes in engineering design and problem-solving.

visit author page

biography

Shane A. Brown P.E. Oregon State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3669-8407

visit author page

Shane Brown is an associate professor and Associate School Head in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. His research interests include conceptual change and situated cognition. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2010 and is working on a study to characterize practicing engineers’ understandings of core engineering concepts. He is a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Engineering Education.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

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

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015