Computer Science and Engineering, Department of
Date of this Version
2020 Copyright held by the owner/author(s).
This paper discusses the results of replicating and extending a study performed by Cooper et al. examining the relationship between students’ spatial skills and their success in learning to program. Whereas Cooper et al. worked with high school students participating in a summer program, we worked with college students taking an introductory computing course. Like Cooper et al.’s study, we saw a correlation between a student’s spatial skills and their success in learning computing. More significantly, we saw that after applying an intervention to teach spatial skills, students demonstrated improved performance both on a standard spatial skills assessment as well as on a CS content instrument. We also saw a correlation between students’ enjoyment in computing and improved performance both on a standard spatial skills assessment and on a CS content instrument, a result not observed by Cooper et al.
Paper Session: CS1 Interventions SIGCSE ’20, March 11–14, 2020, Portland, OR, USA