ADAPTING COURSE DESIGN TO FOSTER THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPATIAL ABILITIES IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION – A CASE STUDY
Editor: Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon
Author: Zorn, Stefan (1); Jonuschies, Ingo (2); Gericke, Kilian (1)
Institution: 1: Universität Rostock, Germany; 2: Nordex Energy SE & Co. KG
Section: Research in Design and Engineering Education Practice
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2021.57
Research has confirmed that spatial skills are crucial for success, especially in engineering design where interpreting views of an object represented by drawings, visualizing parts, or manipulating geometry in CAD are important activities. Spatial skills can be improved through instruction, teaching, and training. Several treatments are described in the literature. Established approaches in engineering education are, for example, sketching exercises and technical drawing tasks. Emerging visualization possibilities such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or mixed Reality are subject of current studies in the field. However, their effect on the development of spatial skills need further studies. In a previous study, the authors have investigated which visualization tools can positively influence the development of student's spatial skills. Here we want to take a more detailed look at the following question: How can we adapt our course in the first semester of engineering design to match these findings? In this paper, we report on our experiences from using different trainings to develop spatial skills. First, we will show the treatments that have already been considered in the teaching concept. The interaction between technical sketching and CAD will be explained in detail. Then the findings of our previous study, which informed the modification of the course, will be summarized. This includes the specific interventions and trainings, covering machine elements and sketching exercises and interactive e-learning content. The paper concludes by presenting our observation regarding the use of voluntary exercises and course material and developed skills.