DO STUDENTS WITH DISCERNIBLE VISUALIZATION SKILLS ACHIEVE HIGHER GRADES? ANALYSIS OF STUDENTS’ SCORES ON THE PURDUE VISUALIZATION TEST AND THEIR FINAL GRADES IN AN INTRODUCTORY VECTOR GRAPHICS COURSE
University of Souther Maine (UNITED STATES)
This research investigated the relationship between discernible spatial ability skills and students’ overall performance in introductory vector graphics course. It examines some of the comparable research on the concepts of spatial ability, and reviews the results of this research on associations between success or limitations in an introductory graphic’s course and the sample’s spatial ability, and utilizing an instrument known as The Purdue Visualization of Rotations (ROT) Test, a spatial ability test that has been connected to demonstrate participants analytical processing capabilities.
This research included a sample group of 50 students (Graphics Majors) enrolled in an introductory vector computer graphics course that covered both conventional and digital technical illustration topics, terminology, and applicable laboratory assignments using vector graphics software (Adobe Illustrator CS5). The course’s description stated: A study of illustration software with emphasis upon operational skills and techniques used in creating two-dimensional and three-dimensional illustrations. The objectives of the course were stated: After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
• Discuss a variety of illustration tools and technologies and how those technologies interact and impact society.
• Experience conventional forms of technical illustration as foundation to electronic graphic illustration.
• Analyze digital technology products and how to produce projects with an emphasis on preparation for publication and packaging.
• List and explain the available illustration technologies and terms and their uses and meanings.
• Compare and contrast digital and analog illustration technologies giving advantages and disadvantages of each.
• Demonstrate skills and knowledge required use and discuss illustration and publishing technologies.
• Identify careers available in developing illustrations.
• Effectively work independently and in groups as required.
By graduation, Graphic Technology students should be able to:
• Think critically and creatively;
• Understand the theoretical principles of the profession;
• Understand and apply relevant technology in the solution of technical problems;
• Organize, manage, and maintain projects;
• Develop an appreciation for ethical and professional practices;
• Develop and refine oral, written, and visual communication skills; and
• Demonstrate an overall competency in the program objectives.
In order to gauge these students’ analytical visualization skills, a Purdue Visualization Test of Rotations (ROT) of 30 task objects was administered to ascertain their skills in interpreting and processing that information which measures both spatial visualization and mental rotation. These individual results as measured in a percentage of correct identification of the appropriate correct selection in the ROT. These ROT results were then compared to their final overall course scores. Those comparisons were statically analyzed for possible significance based on age and gender. Those presentation of the overall results and comparisons to similar visualization studies is the objective of this study.