1506 Views
  1. Lelli Van Den Einde
  2. Teaching Professor at UC San Diego, President/Co-Founder of eGrove Education
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. UC San Diego, eGrove Education Inc.
  1. Lizzy Cowan
  2. UX Design and Research
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. eGrove Education Inc.
  1. Nathan Delson
  2. Senior Teaching Professor at UC San Diego, CEO/Co-Founder of eGrove Education Inc.
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. UC San Diego, eGrove Education Inc.

Meaningful Sketching and Meaningful Struggle in STEM Education

NSF Awards: 1831294

2022 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Undergraduate, Graduate, Adult learners, Informal

Spatial visualization training with sketching has been shown to increase retention and GPAs in STEM fields and is especially helpful for women and other underrepresented minorities. The Spatial Vis software makes training these critical and under-taught skills easy for instructors and engaging for students. 

In Spatial Vis, students complete 2D orthographic projection and 3D isometric sketching assignments and submit them to be automatically graded. If a sketch is incorrect, Spatial Vis provides personalized feedback and hints to encourage students to try again. Gamification is incorporated to encourage persistence and increase student engagement. Instructors can monitor student progress and download grade reports through a teacher interface.

Spatial Vis increases student success in Career and Technical Education (CTE), Intro to Engineering, Graphics, Design, CAD, and thinking in 3D. It has been designed to make critical spatial visualization and sketching training as accessible as possible and is suitable for formal, informal, in-person, hybrid, and remote environments. Spatial Vis is available for smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks, and Computers.

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Discussion from the 2022 STEM For All Video Showcase (22 posts)
  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Graduate Student
    May 10, 2022 | 11:22 a.m.

    I really like how you incorporated stories from students in your video. One of my favorite things as a young student was to interact with images that asked which 3D shape the 2D drawing represented. I far prefer working in 3D than in 2D even to this day. What are you using as an assessment tool for this project? That is, how do you know that the work is engaging for students? Who decides the format of the personalized feedback? What tests have been conducted with the effectiveness of the feedback? I love this project and wish you the best.

  • Icon for: Lizzy Cowan

    Lizzy Cowan

    Co-Presenter
    UX Design and Research
    May 10, 2022 | 01:05 p.m.

    Hi Karen! Thank you for watching our video! We do pre and post-testing using the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test of Rotations to measure spatial visualization skills before and after using the Spatial Vis software. We also do surveys and interviews of students. Lastly, we capture all of the student sketching attempts and the feedback they receive from the software. With this information, we can see if the personalized feedback influenced the students’ next attempt.

  • Small default profile

    JunellMcCall

    Researcher
    May 10, 2022 | 03:36 p.m.

    This is a much needed skillset in the 21st century.

  • Icon for: Lizzy Cowan

    Lizzy Cowan

    Co-Presenter
    UX Design and Research
    May 11, 2022 | 11:33 a.m.

    We agree! Thanks for watching!

  • Icon for: Nidaa Makki

    Nidaa Makki

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 10:30 p.m.

    Hello Lizzy,

    Thank you for sharing your project! This is a very interesting tool to support students' visualization skills and your results underscore that these skills can be taught effectively.

    You mentioned in the video that there was a large difference in reduction of risk of dropping out of STEM between the Spacial Vis group and the control group. Can you clarify how you defined risk of dropping out? And how many students were involved in the study? I am also curious to learn more about how the two groups compared on the visualization skills post-test. You mentioned that both groups had some instruction on visualization skills, so it would be interesting to see the differences that can be attributed to using the app. 

     

  • Icon for: Lizzy Cowan

    Lizzy Cowan

    Co-Presenter
    UX Design and Research
    May 11, 2022 | 11:46 a.m.

    Hi Nidaa! Thank you for your comment. The at-risk group was defined as scoring below 70% on the spatial visualization test. The study with a control group was smaller with 23 students in the experiment group and 22 in the control. We have done other studies with larger groups (100+ students) where we had students do a pre-test, then use Spatial Vis, and take a post-test. 85% of the students who failed the pre-test later passed the post-test after using Spatial Vis. Those students had an average test score increase of 33%. However, this was not using a control. More information about the study and other studies can be found here: https://egrove.education/results

  • Icon for: Stefani Pautz Stephenson

    Stefani Pautz Stephenson

    Director, Educator Community Partnerships
    May 11, 2022 | 11:53 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work. I'm particularly interested in how the feedback was designed into the software. Can you share more about that process? 

  • Icon for: Lizzy Cowan

    Lizzy Cowan

    Co-Presenter
    UX Design and Research
    May 11, 2022 | 12:36 p.m.

    Hi Stefani! Sure! We started with a simple "Incorrect" and "Correct". As the project expanded and we received more student surveys, interviews, and sketching data we were able to identify common mistakes and frustrations about the software. We started by targeting the most frustrating aspects. For instance, if a student's sketch was too messy it would fail. This was frustrating because students did not understand why they were incorrect and did not realize how close to the solution they were. We now will tell them they are close and they need to clean up some of their lines. We have since expanded this feedback to identify other common mistakes and our feedback will continue to grow as our users do!

  • Icon for: Laura Ettinger

    Laura Ettinger

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2022 | 03:06 p.m.

    Lizzy, I thought your video was very well put together, and this work is important. My own work is on the history of women, gender, and engineering, and as you say in your video, historically women and other underrepresented minorities have often been less exposed to toys and activities that would lead them to engage in spatial visualization while growing up. I've sometimes been amazed how often my current students say that today. 

    Do you have a sense of the reasons Spatial Vis increases retention in STEM fields? Is it that they have more confidence and assume they will succeed? Or that they simply can do the work in a way they couldn't before? Other things? 

  • Icon for: Lelli Van Den Einde

    Lelli Van Den Einde

    Lead Presenter
    Teaching Professor at UC San Diego, President/Co-Founder of eGrove Education
    May 11, 2022 | 04:21 p.m.

    Thank you for watching our video. We believe it is a combination of students having an increased sense of self-efficacy and therefore a feeling that they belong in STEM, which is due to the fact that they are now able to visualize and understand the challenging 3D concepts they are learning much more easily.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Laura Ettinger
  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Facilitator
    Research Scientist
    May 11, 2022 | 07:09 p.m.

    Very cool project. Thanks for sharing your work, Lelli, Lizzy, and team. I'm a researcher in the informal STEM education world, and I'm intrigued by the possible application of this easy-to-use software outside the classroom. Have you heard stories of students using the program with projects in their everyday lives? Also, beyond Legos, what other informal STEM learning experiences do you think are helping students build these visual thinking skills? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

  • Icon for: Lizzy Cowan

    Lizzy Cowan

    Co-Presenter
    UX Design and Research
    May 12, 2022 | 11:37 a.m.

    Hi Scott! Thanks for watching our video. The informal STEM space is an area we would like to support in the next couple of years! We would love advice about how to get into some informal learning spaces. 

    The software does not have a free drawing component to it, but students claim that going through the assignments and learning the skill has helped them with their design and CAD courses as well as calculus and physics.

    Beyond Legos, other informal STEM learning experiences that would help with spatial visualization would be hand sketching on paper, origami activities, 3D video games like Minecraft, and more! A recent study just came out that even mentioned team sports contributing to spatial skills.

  • Icon for: Scott Pattison

    Scott Pattison

    Facilitator
    Research Scientist
    May 13, 2022 | 11:30 a.m.

    Very cool, Lizzy. I agree, there's lots of potential in the informal STEM education space for this work. If you haven't already, you might want to start by exploring projects and research catalogued by the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE). The ways that adults and children explore mathematics, including spacial reasoning, outside of school is so rich. My colleagues and I did a quick review of some of the literature a few years ago. I'm really intrigued by how individuals might use your software and resources for pragmatic goals in their daily lives, how that use would differ from what you see in a classroom, and how it might enrich not only people's spatial reasoning but also their ideas about themselves as mathematical thinkers. Good luck with your ongoing work!

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Lizzy Cowan
  • Icon for: Lizzy Cowan

    Lizzy Cowan

    Co-Presenter
    UX Design and Research
    May 16, 2022 | 11:22 a.m.

    Thank you so much for the information!

  • Icon for: Amy Wilson-Lopez

    Amy Wilson-Lopez

    Facilitator
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 12:04 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing Spatial Vis! I was really intrigued, so I went to check it out, but was unable to get in because I did not have an "invite code." This caused me to wonder whether the platform was freely available or how people gained access to it. Do you share the code with teachers? What are your dissemination strategies to achieve broader impacts? Thanks again for sharing this platform.

  • Icon for: Lizzy Cowan

    Lizzy Cowan

    Co-Presenter
    UX Design and Research
    May 12, 2022 | 12:15 p.m.

    Hi Amy! Thank you for your interest in Spatial Vis! Please fill out the linked form and I will send you a free account: https://egrove.education/request-instructor-access

    We provide the software for free to instructors so that they can evaluate the material, however, we do charge for classroom use. This project was supported by the NSF Small Business Innovation Research program so we were able to create a company with the Spatial Vis software being our flagship product. We have had over 15,000 students use the software. Our dissemination strategies include: tabling at conferences, doing workshops at conferences and in our local communities, continuing research and publishing, as well as offering free professional development courses to instructors.

  • Icon for: Amy Wilson-Lopez

    Amy Wilson-Lopez

    Facilitator
    Associate Professor
    May 13, 2022 | 06:25 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing this link. I just wanted to see it "in action." That makes sense that you have to charge for classroom use, consistent with what would be expected of products developed under the SBIR program. Thank you for this innovation that is making a difference for students! I appreciate how you seem to be intentionally disseminating this to diverse audiences as well.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Lizzy Cowan
  • Icon for: Maia Punksungka

    Maia Punksungka

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 12:42 p.m.

    This is interesting. I've never heard of such a skill before. I'm curious to know: what other skills are necessary for students to have to enhance their spatial visualization skills? Can spatial visualization skills promote other skills? If so, can you speak more to that. My project looks at how basic skills (e.g., reading/writing, math, problem-solving) can promote technical skills. At the same time, technical skills can also inform and improve existing basic skills. Finally, has Spatial Vis been implemented at the college or vocational level? If so, can you please speak to the effectiveness of the software for that population. 

  • Icon for: Nathan Delson

    Nathan Delson

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Teaching Professor at UC San Diego, CEO/Co-Founder of eGrove Education Inc.
    May 13, 2022 | 01:24 p.m.

    Spatial visualization training has been directly tied to improving Math performance in K-12. Content such as areas and volumes of shapes directly relates to spatial visualization. Also, topics such as fractions and representation of a portion of a whole, addition, subtraction, and multiplication often use visual representations and require sketching. I would be happy to point you to some of the articles in this area. Your work on tying basic skills to technical skills would be great application. I believe that spatial visualization can help with mechanical aptitude as well as required technical skills such as reading blueprints.

  • Icon for: Julia Winter

    Julia Winter

    Researcher
    May 13, 2022 | 02:42 p.m.

    Hi Nathan, Lelli, and Lizzy --

    I LOVE your work! (Big hello to Lelli.) I would love to love to explore fractions and early visualizations for math/spatial reasoning with your team. I will reach out to Lelli. :)

    Nice job on the video and the entire project. 

  • Icon for: Joanne Barrett

    Joanne Barrett

    Researcher
    May 14, 2022 | 12:08 p.m.

    I think this tool would be super helpful as we begin to see more applications available to younger students in VR. Have you been able to test it as a precursor to performance in virtual worlds?

  • Icon for: Nathan Delson

    Nathan Delson

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Teaching Professor at UC San Diego, CEO/Co-Founder of eGrove Education Inc.
    May 16, 2022 | 11:12 a.m.


    Indeed we have worked with younger children and have a Spatial Kids sketching app in the works. We did do a study comparing the Spatial Vis App to an Augmented Reality Spatial Visualization training tool at the college level. We like that sketching requires active student engagement and would be looking for similar level of active engagement with a VR application.



     

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