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Journal for Geometry and Graphics 16 (2012), No. 2, 235--246
Copyright Heldermann Verlag 2012

Eleven Years of Testing Spatial Visualization Skills

Domen Kusar
Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana, Zoisova 12, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Over a period of 12 years, between 1999 and 2012, the spatial visualization skills of a total of 1939 new students of architecture at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Ljubljana have been subject to careful analysis. For this work the Mental Rotating Test was used, which is one of the standard tests for the verification of these skills. The results of these tests have, on the one hand, confirmed some well-known facts about spatial visualization, but they have also demonstrated observable differences in the level of students' spatial visualization skills. Twelve years is a long enough period for the evaluation of both the applicability of the test itself, and the actual results. The testing process also gave rise to several questions about the validity of results obtained by using other well-known tests for the analysis of spatial visualization skills. This is the consequence of the narrowness of the field with which the individual tests deal, as well as the simultaneous complexity and inadequate knowledge about the actual phenomenon of spatial visualization, since this is a relatively young scientific field. One of the aims of the research was therefore to obtain new information in this field, including studies of the differences between the skills of left-handed and right-handed students, which were introduced in 2010.

Keywords: Spatial visualization, mental rotation test, university education.

MSC: 97G80; 51N05

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