The development and assessment of a course for enhancing the 3-D spatial visualization skills of first year engineering students

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Department of Mathematical Sciences


In January 1993, we received NSF funding to develop a pre-graphics course for freshman engineering majors who are weak in 3-D spatial visualization skills. A text and computer lab exercises utilizing I-DEAS software were written specifically for this course. The course is 3-credits (quarter system) with two hours of lecture and two hours of computer lab each week. It was offered at Michigan Technological University (MTU) for the first time during the 1993 Fall term and has been offered each fall since that time. The objective of the course is to provide the prerequisite spatial skills needed by students to succeed in their subsequent engineering graphics courses. Assessment for the course has been continuous. Recently, a six-year longitudinal study was conducted to determine the overall success of this project. This paper will describe the project and the assessment findings from the longitudinal study.

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Journal of Engineering Education