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The Efficacy Of An Engineering Graphics Course For Both Students With And Without Prior Engineering Graphics Experience

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Innovative Techniques in Graphics

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1420.1 - 12.1420.10



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Paper Authors


Mark Holdhusen University of Wisconsin-Marathon County

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Mark Holdhusen is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County. He began at UWMC in January of 2005 after completing his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Mark received a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in August of 1999. He currently lives in Wausau, WI with his wife, Elona, son, Milo, and two dogs.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The efficacy of an engineering graphics course for both students with and without prior engineering graphics experience


Students start university-level engineering graphics with varied levels of knowledge. Some students have taken computer aided drafting courses while in high school, while others have no engineering graphics experience at all. This paper considers one college-level engineering graphics course and its effectiveness in educating students with varying levels of knowledge in engineering graphics. This study was performed on two course sections; one section was taught in a traditional face-to-face setting and the other section was delivered though distance education. One objective of the research is to determine the students’ proficiency in engineering graphics upon entering and completing the course. This was done through the use of a pretest and posttest. No statistical difference was found between the pretest of the experienced students and the inexperienced students. Also, students improved between the pretest and posttest regardless of their prior engineering graphics experiences. Therefore, students start the college- level course with similar skills and benefit from the course regardless of their engineering graphics experience. However, the course seemed to have little effect on the visualization skills of students as little improvement was made from the pretest to the posttest. The experienced students improved the most on section and auxiliary views, thus students seem to gain from a review of section and auxiliary views. Based on a survey given at the end of the semester, nearly all the students felt they learned something new from the course. Most students with experience in engineering graphics had never used 3D solid modeling CAD software. Also, the majority of students, both experienced and inexperienced, felt the pace and workload in the course were adequate. The few students that felt overwhelmed by the workload and pace of the course understood it was necessary to learn all the required material. Students with familiarity in both AutoCAD and Inventor, the software used in the course, struggled in creating working drawings using AutoCAD. Specifically, they had trouble manually creating the multiview projections and properly dimensioning the drawings. This research finds that all students, regardless of their experience, benefit from taking engineering graphics at the university level.


Students start engineering programs with many different experiences. Some students begin an engineering program with some knowledge of engineering graphics. This knowledge of engineering graphics ranges from knowing the basics of technical sketching, to the ability to read technical drawings, to an intimate knowledge of 3D modeling using CAD. Students gain these experiences from many places including job training and high school CAD classes. Most university engineering programs require a course in engineering graphics and students generally take the same course regardless of their abilities. This paper considers one college-level engineering graphics course and its effectiveness in educating students with varying levels of engineering graphics knowledge.

Much research has been devoted to determining the visualization skills of engineering graphics students. Several tests have been developed to assess visualization abilities including the Purdue

Holdhusen, M. (2007, June), The Efficacy Of An Engineering Graphics Course For Both Students With And Without Prior Engineering Graphics Experience Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2679

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