The predictive capacity of spatial ability for knowledge retention in third level technology and engineering education.
MetadataShow full item record
It is well established that spatial ability correlates with STEM performance. THis has been shown through substantial longitudinal evidence e.g. (Wai, Lubinski, & Benbow, 2009). Specifically, it has been demonstrated as an important factor in engineering and technology education for the last two decades (Buckley, 2018; Sorby, 1999, 2009b). However, casual explanation does not yet exist (Ramey & Uttal, 2017). Working with the hypothesis that spatial ability affects cognitive load while learning, this paper specifically investigates the impact it has on retention, a component of the information processing theory of leanring (Simon, 1978), within an authentic classroom environment. This paper describes a conceptual replication of Hyland et al. (2018), investigating the effect of spatial ability on the ability to retain information associated with novel engineering concepts. A cohort of students from within a common engineering module in an Institute of Technology in Ireland voluntarily participated in this study. Initially, three validated psychometric tests of spatial ability were administered to the cohort. After three weeks this was followed by an experimentally designed lecture on novel foundational engineering/technology content after which an associated retention test was administered. Perceived task experience and interest were also measure through 9-point Likert-type at this time. The result from Hyland et al. (2018) that spatial ability predicts knowledge retention associated with fundamental engineering concepts over and above interest was replicated. This is significant in terms of informing both pedagogy in technology and engineering fields, and for research associated with the foundational development of spatial ability.
The following license files are associated with this item: