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The relationship between persistence, effort, and achievement in a spatial skills training program

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Conference

2022 Spring ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Conference

Location

Newark, New Jersey

Publication Date

April 22, 2022

Start Date

April 22, 2022

End Date

April 23, 2022

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

10

DOI

10.18260/1-2--40074

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/40074

Download Count

218

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Paper Authors

biography

Maxine Fontaine Stevens Institute of Technology (School of Engineering and Science)

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Maxine Fontaine is a Teaching Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. in 2010 from Aalborg University in Aalborg, Denmark. Maxine has a background in the biomechanics of human movement, and she currently teaches several undergraduate courses in engineering mechanics. Her research interests are focused on improving engineering pedagogy and increasing diversity in engineering.

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Abstract

The importance of strong spatial visualization skills (SVS) in engineering is well established. Since SVS are rarely specifically taught in the K-12 curriculum, many first-year engineering programs have implemented a spatial skills training program aimed at identifying first-year engineering students with low SVS and giving them the opportunity to gain these critical skills through focused practice. A variety of different implementations of these spatial skills training programs have proven effective in improving spatial ability, ranging from a total training time of 8 hours to over 20 hours. This objective of this study was to determine whether different amounts of training should be prescribed for students based on initial spatial ability, as measured by the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test of Rotations (PSVT:R). Another objective was to determine the minimum level of persistence required during the training to effectively improve spatial visualization skills (SVS). Training amount is measured by the number of problems completed in the Spatial Vis software by eGrove Education, and persistence level is measured by the average stars per problem. Participants are divided into three groups based on initial test score: novices (test score below 60%), intermediates (test score between 60% and 69%) and masters (test score 70% and above). A correlational analysis between training persistence and gains in spatial ability was performed for each group. A weak positive correlation was found for the novice group only. A correlational analysis between training amount and gains in spatial ability was also performed for each group. Strangely, a weak negative correlation was found for the novice group. These results indicate a need to more closely examine the effects of persistence and training amount in smaller, more similar subgroups or more carefully consider how to quantify improvement in spatial ability.

Fontaine, M. (2022, April), The relationship between persistence, effort, and achievement in a spatial skills training program Paper presented at 2022 Spring ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Conference, Newark, New Jersey. 10.18260/1-2--40074

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