Understanding the Effectiveness of the AR Sandbox through Student Experiences
Thursday 2:00pm TSU - Humphries: 221
Oral Session Part of Thursday B: Student Learning & Community Engagement
Spatial reasoning ability is a crucial skill necessary for success in any of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) domains. Research suggests that the base level of spatial thinking ability is how students self-organize into their majors and careers (Wai et al., 2013), where students may select out of STEM domains due to the level of spatial ability they possess. However, spatial reasoning is malleable and, with training, could increase student participation in the STEM domains. One approach to support the development of student spatial skills is through using innovative technologies that effectively teach content and train spatial ability in the process. The augmented reality (AR) sandbox is an interactive technology that teaches geological concepts and, perhaps, spatial reasoning ability simultaneously. Despite, several recent publications that have utilized the sandbox in the undergraduate classroom (Woods et al., 2017; Giorgis et al., 2017), there has not been evidence for the usefulness of the AR sandbox on improving spatial reasoning ability. Activities were developed with the AR sandbox to train spatial ability. The Spatial Reasoning Instrument (SRI) (Ramful et al., 2017) was distributed to the undergraduate student population enrolled at a large research institution in the southeastern United States. Participants shared their experiences with the activity and spatial thinking skills, and share their perceptions on its effectiveness.