Raising the Bar? Longitudinal Study to Determine which Students Would Benefit Most from Spatial Training

Norma Veurink, Sheryl Sorby
2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Michigan Technological University has been offering a course in developing spatial skills since 1993 for students who score 60% or lower on the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test: Rotations (PSVT:R) given during freshmen orientation. For the first offering of the course, students were randomly assigned to the spatial skills course. For the next 15 years of its existence, the course was recommended to those "failing" the PSVT:R and enrollment into the course was strictly voluntary. Retention
more » ... and grades in graphics and calculus courses were compared for those students who took the spatial training and those that did not, even though they "failed" the PSVT:R. Studies found the students taking the spatial training had significantly higher grades and retention rates. Beginning in the fall of 2009, the spatial skills course was required of all engineering students who scored 60% or lower on the PSVT:R. During an analysis to determine if requiring the training resulted in less significant positive impacts on grades, it was discovered the students taking the training had higher math and graphics grades than students who marginally passed the PSVT:R and thus did not receive the spatial training. This paper will describe a longitudinal study comparing the success of students with poorly developed and marginally developed spatial skills. Variables to be examined include: grades in graphics, mathematics, and science courses and retention rates.
doi:10.18260/1-2--18592 fatcat:v6w5zpzet5elhhdsiflzxp6p34