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Journal for Geometry and Graphics 16 (2012), No. 1, 111--120
Copyright Heldermann Verlag 2012

Predicting Academic Success of Engineering Students in Technical Drawing from Working Memory

Gerardo Prieto
Facultad de Psicologķa, Universidad de Salamanca, Avda. de la Merced 109-131, 37005 Salamanca, Spain

Angela D. Velasco
Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil

Tests on spatial aptitude, in particular visualization, have been shown to be efficient predictors of the academic performance of Technical Drawing students. It has recently been found that spatial working memory (a construct defined as the ability to perform tasks with a figurative content that require simultaneous storage and transformation of information) is strongly associated with visualization. In the present study we analyze the predictive efficiency of a battery of tests that included tests on visualization, spatial working memory, spatial short-term memory and executive function on a sample of first year engineering students. The results show that spatial working memory (SWM) is the most important predictor of academic success in Technical Drawing. In our view, SWM tests can be useful for detecting as early as possible those students who will require more attention and support in the teaching-learning process.

Keywords: Technical drawing, working memory, spatial visualization.

MSC: 97G80; 51N05

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