Examining the Spatial Ability Phenomenon from the Student's Perspective


  • J. L. Mohler Purdue University


This phenomenological investigation examined the lived experience of technically-oriented students over the course of a single semester, attempting to answer the question, “What was it like for a student to experience the spatial ability phenomenon?” The study included 12 interviewees and 8 focus group freshman participants at a Midwestern university. Data sources included interview transcripts, think aloud transcripts, task solutions, focus group transcripts, researcher journal entries, course performance data, course observation data, and spatial ability test data. This paper provides the holistic, structural description of the spatial phenomenon that emerged from the descriptions of the participants’ experience, as well as an expository on four of the five invariant themes that were elicited from the data. the collaborative session. Recommendations were made for future course improvements when a real world project is used in the curriculum. This paper also discusses changes in design process and the role of designers based on the collaborative session feedback.



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