SKETCHING APP TO TEACH SPATIAL VISUALIZATION SKILLS SUITABLE FOR REMOTE AND IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION
During the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers searched for technology that could provide personalized feedback to students working remotely. Additionally, many teachers could no longer offer hands-on, project based learning experiences for their students and had to find other methods to meet similar learning outcomes. This was especially true for technology and introductory engineering classes where orthographic and isometric sketching is typically done by hand. To address these challenges, a number of middle school, high school and post graduate schools adopted the use of the Spatial Vis App for the first time. Spatial Vis teaches freehand sketching and spatial visualization, fundamental skills for student success in STEM fields, on smartphones, tablets, and Chromebooks. Since the app automatically grades students’ sketches and provides immediate feedback, it had the potential to increase student engagement during remote instruction. For many of these newly adopted courses in spring and fall 2020, the use of the Spatial Vis app resulted in an increased amount of spatial visualization instruction to compensate for the technical constraints and reduced capabilities to teach their traditional hands-on curriculum. Because the switch to remote instruction was hasty, the courses that adopted the Spatial Vis app were not part of a controlled study. However, qualitative information regarding learning outcomes was established through instructor feedback. In addition, the digital nature of the app allows for the quantification of data such as how many assignments the students completed in each module as well their performance on test questions. These data points are used to establish the impact that the Spatial Vis app had on learning outcomes and engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, student performance within the app as well as instructor perspective from a post survey is assessed across grade levels to demonstrate the suitability of the Spatial Vis app not only in the classroom but also for remote instruction.