An Exploration of Engineering Students' 3D Visualization Processing
The goals of this study were to: a) Identify patterns in students' processing of 3D models presented via drawings, interactive computer models, and physical models; and b) Identify design principles to guide the development of computer based simulations for enhancing students' 3D visualization skills, based on the results of the processing analysis. Pairs of students enrolled in a Mechanics of Materials class were presented with a series of 3d models and associated problems, presented in three formats (paper, computer models, & physical models). They were required to describe their general theories as to the behavior of the models based on the forces provided, and were also required to calculate moments based on the forces presented in the drawings. As they worked they were required to discuss the problem aloud with their partner. Students' activities were video taped, including dynamic screen capture of students' manipulation of the computer models. These data were then analyzed via systematic application of qualitative techniques, with a focus on identifying categories of processing behaviors, assigning behaviors to these categories, and relating these to student performance. The following themes were identified as playing an important role in student performance: a) precise terminology; b) breaking problems into component parts; c) complimentary roles in collaborative teams; c) purposeful, hands-on, interaction with materials; and d) problem visualization. Design principles, based on these findings, are discussed.
E. Scwartz et al., "An Exploration of Engineering Students' 3D Visualization Processing," American Society for Engineering Education, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Jan 2006.
Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Business and Information Technology
Keywords and Phrases
3D Visualization; Three-dimensional test of visualization skills; Visualization; Three-dimensional imaging
Article - Journal
© 2006 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.
01 Jan 2006