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ERIC Number: EJ965330
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1045-1064
The Effects of Solid Modeling and Visualization on Technical Problem Solving
Koch, Douglas
Journal of Technology Education, v22 n2 p3-21 Spr 2011
The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the use of solid modeling software increases participants' success in solving a specified technical problem and how visualization affects their ability to solve a technical problem. Specifically, the study sought to determine if (a) students' visualization skills affect their problem solving ability; (b) the use of 3D modeling software in the design and production of a prototype for a technical design problem is more effective than using sketching; and (c) the use of 3D modeling software offsets any differences in low spatial visualization skills for solving a technical design problem. The design for this study was an experimental posttest-only design. Each participant completed the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test-Visualization of Rotations (PSVT-R). The participants were randomly assigned to either the control group or the experimental group. Caution must be used when generalizing the results of this study because the participants consisted of 47 randomly assigned engineering technology students. The results from this study also suggest that because the interaction between the type of design method and spatial visualization ability did not result in a significant difference, the design method and visualization ability were homoscedastic for this particular problem. Using solid modeling software to design a solution did not offset low spatial visualization scores or offer any advantages to those with high visualization scores. The participants that used solid modeling showed a higher probability of success above a spatial visualization score of 24. In this case using solid modeling did not offset low visualization scores and increase the probability of solving the design problem. Using solid modeling actually decreased the probability of success for participants with low visualization scores and increased the probability of success for participants with high visualization scores. (Contains 8 figures and 2 tables.)
Journal of Technology Education. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri