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Using Digital Sketching and Augmented Reality Mobile Apps to Improve Spatial Visualization in a Freshmen Engineering Course

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Engineering Design Graphics Division Technical Session 3 - Spatial Visualization Topics

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--33501

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33501

Download Count

153

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Paper Authors

biography

Diana Bairaktarova Virginia Tech

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Dr. Diana Bairaktarova is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Through real-world engineering applications, Dr. Bairaktarova’s experiential learning research spans from engineering to psychology to learning sciences, as she uncovers how individual performance is influenced by aptitudes, spatial skills, personal interests and direct manipulation of mechanical objects.

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biography

Lelli Van Den Einde University of California, San Diego

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Van Den Einde is a Teaching Professor in Structural Engineering at UC San Diego and the President of eGrove Education, Inc. She incorporates education innovations into courses (Peer Instruction, Project-based learning), prepares next generation faculty, advises student organizations, hears cases of academic misconduct, is responsible for ABET, and is committed to fostering a supportive environment for diverse students. Her research focuses on engagement strategies for large classrooms and developing K-16 curriculum in earthquake engineering and spatial visualization.

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John E. Bell Michigan State University

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JOHN BELL Professor, Educational Technology, College of Education. John Bell earned his B.S. in Computer Science from Michigan State University, and then his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. His research considered various user interfaces for human-computer interaction among users with a wide range of technology skills. Bell later completed a post doc at UC Berkeley focused on teaching programming to non-computer science majors, and the development of spatial reasoning abilities for engineering students. Bell has worked at Michigan State University since 1995. His work focused on the development of K-12 teacher abilities to use technology for teaching and learning. His recent research has focused on distance learning and collaboration through telepresence. One key aspect of this work is the study of embodied content for learning and collaboration. Embodied content includes collaborative textual environments as well as augmented/mixed reality. Other research includes idea-centered teaching and learning.

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Abstract

Spatial reasoning skills contribute to performance in many STEM fields. For example, drawing sectional views of three-dimensional objects is an essential skill for engineering students. There is considerable variation in the spatial reasoning skills of prospective engineering students, putting some at risk for compromised performance in their classes. This study takes place in a first-year engineering Spatial Visualization course to integrate recent practices in engineering design education with cognitive psychology research on the nature of spatial learning. We employed three main pedagogical strategies in the course - 1) in class instruction on sketching; 2) spatial visualization training; and 3) manipulation of physical objects (CAD/3D print creations). This course endeavors to use current technology, online accessibility, and implementation of the three pedagogical strategies to bring about student growth in spatial reasoning. This study is designed to determine the effect of adding two different spatial reasoning training apps to this environment.

Over 230 students (three sections) participated in our study. In two of the three sections, students received interactive spatial visualization training using either a spatial visualization mobile touchscreen app in one section or an Augmented Reality (AR) app in the other section. Research suggests that there are benefits to using the Spatial Vis Classroom mobile app for college students.The app has been shown to increase student persistence resulting in large learning gains as measured by the Purdue assessment of spatial visualization (PSVT-R), especially for students starting with poor spatial visualization skills. The Spatial Vis Classroom app can be used in the classroom or assigned as homework. The AR app is designed to help users develop their mental rotation abilities. It is designed to support a holistic understanding of 3-dimensional objects, and research has shown that, in combination with a traditional curriculum, it increases students’ abilities also measured by the PSVT-R. Of particular interest, the data suggest that the app overcomes the advantage found by males over females in a traditional class alone focused on spatial reasoning. Both of the course sections were required to use the apps for approximately the same time in class and outside of class. Students in the control section were required to do hand sketching activities in class and outside of class, with roughly the same completion time as for the sections with the apps. Students grades were not affected by using the three different approaches as grading was based on completion only.

Based on current literature, we hypothesize that overall benefits (PSVT-R gains) will be comparable across the 3 treatments but there will be different effects on attitude and engagement (confidence,enjoyment, and self-efficacy). Lastly, we hypothesize that the treatments will have different effects on male/female and ethnic categories of the study participants. The final paper will include an analysis of results and a report of the findings.

Bairaktarova, D., & Van Den Einde, L., & Bell, J. E. (2019, June), Using Digital Sketching and Augmented Reality Mobile Apps to Improve Spatial Visualization in a Freshmen Engineering Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33501

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