The Effects of Solid Modeling and Visualization On Technical Problem Solving
Koch, Douglas Spencer
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This research was undertaken to investigate the effects of solid modeling and visualization on technical problem solving. The participants were 47 students enrolled in solid modeling classes at Southeast Missouri State University. The control and experimental groups consisted of 23 and 24 randomly assigned students respectively. This study was a posttest only design that used logistic regression to analyze the results. Both groups were required to take the Purdue Spatial-Visualization Test/Visualization of Rotations (PSVT/TR). Participants in the control group used only sketching to design their solutions while participants in the experimental group used parametric solid modeling software to design their solutions. All participants then constructed prototypes of their designs. The prototype was evaluated to determine if it successfully met the design specifications. The findings revealed that visualization was a significant predictor of technical problem solving as defined by successful prototype construction (p=.021). There was no significant difference between the sketching and solid modeling design methods used for technical problem solving (p=.752). The interaction between the method of design, solid modeling or sketching, was analyzed to determine if using solid modeling would offset low visualization scores It was found that the interaction was not significant (p=.393).
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