Document

Report
Developing 3-D Spatial Skills for
non-engineering & K-12 Students
Preliminary Results
Paul Charlesworth, Lisa Parolini, & Sheryl Sorby
Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI
Introduction
•
Spatial visualization is considered to be one of
seven human intelligences and is an active topic in
educational research.
•
Based on previous research, two themes emerge:

Well-developed 3-D spatial skills are critical to
success in STEM fields, and

The 3-D spatial skills of women typically lag
significantly behind their male counterparts.
Slide 2
Gender Differences
•
•
Theories for gender differences:

Recessive characteristic of X-chromosome

Male sex hormone

Environmental factors
Truth is likely an interaction of many factors
resulting in traditional stereotypes.
Slide 3
Spatial Skills Development
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1977 Guay.
Purdue Spatial Visualization Test: Rotations.
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1989 Gimmestad.
Pilot study at Michigan Tech using PSVT:R.
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1993 Baartmans and Sorby.
NSF-funded textbook for 3-D Spatial Skills.
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1998 Sorby.
NSF-funded software for 3-D Spatial Skills.
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2004 NSF-funded Gender Differences Study
Slide 4
Non-Engineering Students
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95% of MTU’s 6000 students study science,
engineering, or technology
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Study focuses on 170 non-engineering students
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Student divided based on Purdue pretest



•
Workbook
Software
Workbook + Software
Regression to mean reduced by balancing scores
Slide 5
Test Results
Software Only
Workbook Only
Workbook + Software
Comparison Group
PSVT:R Gain
MCT Gain
8.4
6.5
(p<0.005)
(p<0.01)
11.6
8.4
(p<0.0005)
(p<0.001)
11.2
13.8
(p<0.005)
(p<0.0005)
5.3
NA
(p<0.025)
Slide 6
Survey Results
01
•
No gender difference (p<0.37) regarding treatment
•
62% of students preferred software only group
•
Females spent more time on each activity:


•
<30 mins (Male 40%, Female 21%)
>60 min (Male 9%, Female 35%)
Time spent on activity depended on activity:



72% of software group <30 mins
16% of workbook group <30 mins
13% of workbook + software group <30 mins
Slide 7
Survey Results
•
•
02
Male students expressed higher confidence levels:
Confidence Level
Males (n=66)
Females (n=29)
Not Confident
1.5%
27.6%
Very Confident
31.8%
0%
Female students were more positive than males, by
expressing higher levels of learning (p=0.03)
Slide 8
Conclusions
•
Students made statistically significant gains on
tests that measure spatial skills
•
Groups using workbook achieved higher gains
compared software alone
•
Gains for software group comparable to control
•
Gender differences in gains were not observed
•
Students preferred the intervention with lowest
gains
Slide 9
Spatial Skills in K-12 Students
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Small secondary school in a rural setting
•
At-risk and economically disadvantages students

44% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch
•
Eight grade MEAP scores above state average
•
Eight grade class consists of 37 students
•
Study group consists of 16 students


All honor roll
12 females and 4 males
Slide 10
Methodology
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Students spent 2-3 days each week on a module
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Each class period was 54 minutes each
•
Teacher previewed each modules introduction
•
Teacher observed and assisted students
•
Students worked in pairs on software & workbook
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Students evaluated modules upon completion
Slide 11
Results
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Majority of students felt:




•
That they understood the materials
That they had enough time to complete exercises
Preferred working with both software and workbook
Felt that working together helped
Gains in spatial skills (PSVT:R):


Average gain was 20.5%
Statistically significant (t-test, p<0.005)
Slide 12
Conclusions & Thanks
•
Spatial visualization training for college students is
suitable for a younger audience
•
Amount of time required by 8th grade students was
typically longer than college students
•
Results were used to design a full-scale study with
middle and high school students (in progress).
•
A new instrument is being developed that combines
elements from multiple spatial tests.
National Science Foundation Grant: HRD-0429020
•
Slide 13

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