The Effect of a Spatial Skills Training Course in Introductory Computing

Parkinson, J. and Cutts, Q. (2020) The Effect of a Spatial Skills Training Course in Introductory Computing. In: 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE '20), Trondheim, Norway, 15-19 Jun 2020, ISBN 9781450368742 (doi:10.1145/3341525.3387413)

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Abstract

Spatial skills have been associated with STEM success for decades. Research has shown that training spatial skills can have a positive impact on outcomes in STEM domains such as engineering, mathematics and physics; however -- despite some promising leads -- evidence for the same relationship with computing is limited. This research describes a spatial skills intervention delivered to around 60 students in introductory computing courses who tested with relatively low spatial skills, mirroring a well established intervention developed and used by Sorby in engineering for over 20 years. This study has shown correlation between spatial skills and computing assessment marks which was observed both before and after training took place, suggesting that as the students' spatial skills are improved via training, so too is their computing assessment. Students who took part in the intervention also showed a significant increase in class rankings over their peers. The authors consider this to be a good indication that spatial skills training for low spatial skills scorers starting a computing degree is of value.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cutts, Professor Quintin and Parkinson, Mr Jack
Authors: Parkinson, J., and Cutts, Q.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Research Group:CCSE
ISBN:9781450368742
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Association for Computing Machinery
First Published:First published in ITiCSE '20: Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education 2020
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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