Wooden blocks with growth rings that mimic rock layers provide visual aids that can facilitate spatial reasoning needed to stimulate understanding of geologic structures.
Spatial reasoning, STEM, wooden blocks
Spatial reasoning is a challenging skill for students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to master. We utilized wooden blocks with growth rings that mimic folded rock layers, and plywood mimicking sedimentary rock layers as aids in teaching geologic structures in an introductory level geology course. We evaluated the effectiveness of the wooden blocks teaching methodology by comparing test scores of students that had taken the course before and after the use of the wooden blocks teaching tool. The results of an independent samples t-test showed substantial improvements of 20-25% increase when the wooden blocks were used.
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HEAR IT FROM THE AUTHOR:
1- Describe experimental and hands-on teaching in computer architecture
2- Explain the benefits of hands-on learning for a complex topic such as computer architecture.
3- Assess student success and summarize student attitudes and outcomes related to concept-understanding, self-learning, retention and teamwork.