Date of this Version
SIGCSE ’20, March 11–14, 2020, Portland, OR, USA
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 participat- ing 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 apply- ing 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 perfor- mance both on a standard spatial skills assessment and on a CS content instrument, a result not observed by Cooper et al.