Asee peer logo

Tools, Methodologies and Motivation to Improve Spatial Skill on Engineering Students

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Visualization tools and uses in graphics

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1253.1 - 23.1253.17



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Melchor Garcia Dominguez Universidad de Las palmas de Gran Canaria


Jorge Martin-Gutierrez Universidad de La Laguna

visit author page

Dr. Jorge Martín Gutiérrez is professor of mechanical and computer engineering. Currently Dr. Martín Gutiérrez is the director of e-learning department in University of La Laguna. He received Ph.D. with Human Computer Interaction from Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Dr. Martin-Gutierrez´s research has focused on improving spatial skills means augmented reality technology. His approach explores the use of information visualization tools to provide new methods of learning. Their interest is the development of teaching applications based on emerging technologies as well as motivation and usability studies focusing his work on developing computer applications.

visit author page

author page

Cristina Roca University of Las Plamas de Gran Canaria

Download Paper |


Tools, Methodologies and Motivation to Improve Spatial Skill on Engineering StudentsAbstractIn the actual curriculums of engineering degrees, the spatial vision skill is considered as acompetence that should be developed by students. The teachers of Graphic Design are struggling toachieve that students develop those tasks which require spatial visualization and reasoning abilities.This is the source of interest for developing and validating applications and procedures whichmight be included in the curriculum of Graphic Engineering for providing the students with goodlevels of spatial skill. This paper presents a motivation study about the tools and didactic materialdesigned to evaluate the effect of attending several intensive remedial courses based on threedifferent methodologies: Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Portable DocumentFormat 3D (PDF3D) intended to improve the spatial ability of freshmen engineering students.The subjects of Graphic Design in Engineering had traditionally a common main aim: teaching allsketching techniques of 3D reality in a 2D surface (paper) to students from different kinds ofengineering degrees.The engineer’s work is developed in environments which always have in common thecharacteristic of being part of that 3D reality (a car, a building, etc) that traditionally has beendesigned and sketched through those two-dimensional methods. So it’s quite important for theseprofessionals having good levels of three-dimensional vision as it has been clearly stated in severalstudies (Sorby, 1999; Rafi, Samsudin, & Said, 2008; Martín-Gutiérrez et al, 2010), which haveunderlined the importance of that competences in spatial abilities (SA) understood as the cognitiveabilities which belongs to the spatial factor or spatial capability for graduates in engineeringdegrees.The adequate development of these abilities is directly linked to future success if his professionalperformance (Miller, 1996; Adánez and Velasco, 2002), That’s why these competences are part ofthe generic o transverse competences in all degrees belonging to the engineering field.These abilities, as several others from the human being can be taught, as human beings have theability to learn and improving the levels of knowledge and skill which we have in each moment. Inthe last decade, the spatial ability and its development in humans has been widely investigated andstudied for development of new technologies, methodologies and learning tools always looking forimprovement of the student’s spatial understanding skills.In the last few years there has been an important evolution about teaching of Graphic Design intechnical degrees. New technologies incoming have been fundamental in this evolutionconditioning deeply the teaching and learning process of this subject.Besides, the steep rise of students in engineering degrees is starting to make those traditionalstrategies look outdated while using physical models where student can manipulate those modelswith his hands, turning it until understanding it being able to develop plan for sketching it.In this context, we have performed an experience with three different technologies: virtual reality(VR), augmented reality (AR) and Portable Document format (PDF3D), for comparing them anddeciding which methodology is the most suitable from the student’s perspective for understandingthe aspects of that 3D reality. Also we have been a study about the motivation students during theexperience of three methodologies.

Dominguez, M. G., & Martin-Gutierrez, J., & Roca, C. (2013, June), Tools, Methodologies and Motivation to Improve Spatial Skill on Engineering Students Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22638

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: © 2013 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