Ziang Xiao 1, Helen Wauck1, Zeya Peng2, Hanfei Ren2, Lei Zhang3, Shiliang Zuo4, Yuqi Yao1, Wai-Tat Fu1

1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2Zhejiang University, 3Shanghai Jiaotong University, 4Tsinghua University


Research has demonstrated that spatial visualization skills are crucial for success in Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. With an increasing number of students entering STEM disciplines, the question of how to effectively train students» spatial visualization skills has become very important. While a scalable existing solution is to implement online workshops for students, the problem of how to motivate students to participate in these online workshops remains unsolved. In this study, we studied gamification as a way to motivate first year engineering students to take part in an online workshop designed to train their spatial visualization skills. Our game contains eight modules, each designed to train a different component of spatial visualization. The game records players» in-game behavior with high granularity, which allows us to provide automated, scalable feedback on players» problem-solving strategies. Ten students with different levels of spatial ability played our game and expressed a strong interest in using the game to train their spatial visualization skills in the future. In addition, our analysis of players» in-game behaviors shows the potential benefits of implementing adaptive and personalized learning guidance.


        author = {Xiao, Ziang and Wauck, Helen and Peng, Zeya and Ren, Hanfei and Zhang, Lei and Zuo, Shiliang and Yao, Yuqi and Fu, Wai-Tat},
        title = {Cubicle: An Adaptive Educational Gaming Platform for Training Spatial Visualization Skills},
        booktitle = {23rd International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces},
        series = {IUI '18},
        year = {2018},
        isbn = {978-1-4503-4945-1},
        location = {Tokyo, Japan},
        pages = {91--101},
        numpages = {11},
        url = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/3172944.3172954},
        doi = {10.1145/3172944.3172954},
        acmid = {3172954},
        publisher = {ACM},
        address = {New York, NY, USA},
        keywords = {education, game features, learning analytics, player behavior, spatial visualization skills, stem, video games},