Scaffolding spatial ability with augmented reality and virtual reality
by Jordan Wong; Kevin Yu; Nasser Giacaman
International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation (IJMLO), Vol. 15, No. 1, 2021

Abstract: Spatial ability is believed to aid comprehension of core science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topics. As there are no reliable methods for training spatial ability, this makes it a difficult skill to improve. This paper presents two spatial ability trainer apps exploring the latest mobile technologies: augmented reality and virtual reality. The workflow in these applications incorporates scaffolding support and repetition to provide learners with the opportunity to apply newly acquired knowledge. A sample of 50 participants studying engineering were included in the evaluation, with the results showing that participants benefited in both skill and confidence from training in only a short period of time. Participants with weak incoming spatial ability particularly benefited. These findings show the promising potential of augmented reality and virtual reality in improving spatial ability. Overall, targeted spatial ability tests showed statistically significant improvements while untargeted control tests showed insignificant differences.

Online publication date: Thu, 03-Dec-2020

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