User’s Experience with a 3D Educational Mobile Game to Support Spatial Instruction

User’s Experience with a 3D Educational Mobile Game to Support Spatial Instruction

Norena Martin-Dorta (Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), Spain), Isabel Sanchez-Berriel (Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), Spain), Jose Luis Saorin (Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), Spain) and Manuel Contero (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV), Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1987-6.ch012
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Abstract

Spatial abilities are critical skills in scientific and technical fields. In recent studies, the role of computer games, particularly those with 3-D simulations, have been examined for their impact on the development of spatial skills. The work presented in this chapter describes the design and user evaluation of a 3D construction mobile game called iCube. A trial version was brought out and evaluated by twenty-two students. Users pointed out that the game is useful for improvement of spatial ability and is fun. However, some difficulties arose with use of the tactile screen, as fingerprints caused problems while interacting with the game’s 3D environment. The results revealed that it is necessary to have this item in mind during the game’s design, where screen action is continuous.
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Spatial Abilities

The ability to represent and process spatial information is important for many common activities. Through a survey of engineering professionals, Jensen (1986) found out that spatial abilities are the most important engineering graphic skills that an individual needs to be able to succeed in the engineering profession. Engineers use spatial reasoning and visualization in tasks like designing and documenting parts to be assembled, imagining the shape of cut hillsides for highway construction, laying out circuit designs, or finding optimal crystal configurations. In many engineering disciplines, students need to imagine objects in different orientations, translate two-dimensional drawings into three dimensions. These skills have been positively correlated with retention and achievement in engineering, mathematics, and science disciplines (Hsi, Linn, & Bell, 1997).

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