Teaching Engineering Students Freehand Sketching with an Intelligent Tutoring System
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Sketching is an essential skill in engineering design. However, the instruction of sketching in engineering curriculum has greatly diminished in recent decades. Previous studies have shown that teaching an Industrial Design-inspired version of free hand sketching is effective in engineering courses, but engineering professors are often untrained to teach this method effectively. This chapter studies the effect of supplementing instructor-taught sketching with an online sketching tutor that utilizes artificial intelligence to provide human-like feedback to user sketches. To measure the impact of the introduction of this program, the authors compared students who used the online tutor against students who only completed paper-based sketching homework using pre- and post-course spatial visualization evaluations and sketching quizzes. The results show that the students using the online tutor significantly improve their spatial visualization skills at a level equivalent to students who had more practice with pen-and-paper sketching.