June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
First-year Programs Division Technical Session 6: Hands-on Projects and Spatial Skills
26.1390.1 - 26.1390.9
Spatial Visualization as a Predictor of PersistenceThe connection between spatial visualization skills and performance in engineering courseworkis becoming more evident. At [large Midwestern public university], we have implemented spatialvisualization assessment, with support from the Engage Engineering project, for all members ofour first-year engineering class. During academic year 2013-2014, the assessment, specificallythe Purdue Spatial Visualization Test: Rotations (PVST: R), was undertaken as part of [designcourse], our introductory design course. Then, beginning in the summer of 2014, students wereasked to complete the assessment prior to attending the pre-Fall academic orientation program.Students in both of these groups performing below 60% on the assessment were stronglyencouraged to participate in a support course, either as an extension of [design course](Academic Year 2013-2014) or as a separate course (Fall Semester, 2014).To date, over 2,000 students have completed the assessment over the last two years. This samplesize has allowed us to begin to identify data trends that will guide our efforts at engaging andretaining these students in engineering. As has been shown previously, female students, onaverage, have lower scores on the spatial assessment than male students (Males N=1632,Mean=22.84, Females N=392, Mean=20.29, p< .001)However, female students outperformed their male colleagues in both [design course] (Males N=1171, Mean = 3.53, Females N=269, Mean = 3.76, p<.05), female “leavers” performequally to their “persister” counterparts (EGR N=199, Mean 19.78, Non-EGR N=53,Mean=19.68, n.s.). This suggests that the reasons for leaving may be different in these groups,which could also guide our future retention strategies. We are currently examining additionaldata to identify any correlations that exist between spatial assessment performance and generalstudent self-efficacy. The paper will expand on these findings.
Walton, S. P., & Urban-Lurain, M., & Idema, A., & Hinds, T. J., & Briedis, D. (2015, June), Spatial Visualization Skills Intervention for First-year Engineering Students: Everyone’s a Winner! Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24727
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