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Work in Progress: Online Training in Spatial Reasoning for First-year Female Engineering Students

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

First-year Programs Division Postcard Session 1: Retention and Student Success Strategies

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31298

Download Count

24

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Paper Authors

biography

Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer is Associate Director of the Women in Engineering Program and Associate Professor (by courtesy) in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University. Dr. Zurn-Birkhimer conducts research and leads retention activities including administration of the undergraduate and graduate mentoring programs and the teaching of the Women in Engineering seminar courses. For the past decade, Dr. Zurn-Birkhimer’s research has focused on broadening participation of women and underrepresented group in STEM fields. Recently, she has been investigating the intersection of education and career path with cultural identity and is developing strategies to inform programming and policies that facilitate recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations in academia. In 2012 Dr. Zurn-Birkhimer was presented with an Outstanding Alumni Award from the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University. She also serves on their Alumni Advisory Board. Dr. Zurn-Birkhimer earned her B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Purdue University.

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biography

Mayari Illarij Serrano Anazco Purdue Polytechnic Institute Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1033-6459

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MAYARI SERRANO is currently a graduate research assistant in the College of Engineering at Purdue University. She earned her B.S. degree in Biotechnology Engineering from the Army Polytechnic School, Quito, Ecuador. She completed her M.S. in Computer and Information Technology at Purdue University. Mayari is currently a PhD student at Purdue University and is working in for the Women in Engineering Program. Her interests include foster STEM enthusiasm, and technology innovation.

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biography

Beth M. Holloway Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Beth Holloway is the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Engagement and the Leah H. Jamieson Director of the Women in Engineering Program (WIEP) in the College of Engineering at Purdue University. She is the current past chair of the Women in Engineering Division of ASEE. Holloway received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education, all from Purdue University.

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Rachel Ann Baker Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Abstract

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 [6]. 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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