Longitudinal study of the impact of requiring training for students with initially weak spatial skills

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© 2017, © 2017 SEFI. Three-dimensional spatial skills are a cognitive ability that have been shown to predict success in engineering. Michigan Tech has been offering a course to help students improve their 3-D spatial skills for more than two decades. In previous studies, students who failed a rotations test and enrolled in the course performed better on a number of measures when compared to those who failed the rotations test and did not enrol in the course. A valid criticism of these studies was that the two groups were self-selected. Beginning in 2009, the spatial skills course became a requirement for students who initially failed the rotations test. This paper reports on the results from a longitudinal study conducted to determine the impact of the spatial skills course when no self-selection is involved.

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European Journal of Engineering Education