Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Spatial ability is defined as the capacity to accurately perceive visual images, build mental representations of non-linguistic information, and comprehend and manipulate an object's spatial relations [1, 2, 3]. This ability can be used as a prognostication factor for achievement and attainment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) [4, 5]. It is well documented that 3D spatial skills can be developed through practice. Sorby has shown that a course aimed at developing the 3D spatial skills of first-year engineering students has a positive impact on student success, especially for women . The research team has developed a semester-long online, spatial skills workshop. The content incorporates online resources related to mental rotation, 2D and 3D spatial visualization, and abstract reasoning. An experimental group of female first-year engineering students will participate in the weekly online workshop. To assess participants’ spatial perception, mental rotation, and spatial visualization skills, both the experimental group and a control group will complete the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test (PSVT) before the online workshop, in the middle of the semester, and after completion of the workshop. Results of this pilot study will be analyzed to determine the value of offering online spatial reasoning content to all incoming engineering students. It is our hope to understand how to best increase spatial skills for women engineering students, and doing so early in their college careers might lead to increased retention, success, and self-efficacy. This research also aims to expand representation of women in engineering by creating resources that properly address specific academic challenges for this population. The desired outcome is for participants to acquire the skills needed to contribute to the successful completion of their coursework and ultimately their engineering degrees.
Zurn-Birkhimer, S., & Serrano Anazco, M. I., & Holloway, B. M., & Baker, R. A. (2018, June), Work in Progress: Online Training in Spatial Reasoning for First-year Female Engineering Students Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31298
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