TESTING COGSKETCH GEOSCIENCE WORKSHEETS AS AN EFFECTIVE SPATIAL LEARNING TOOL IN INTRODUCTORY GEOSCIENCE COURSES
In spring, 2014, we conducted a study in the Geoscience 100 course at UW-Madison, testing the effectiveness of Cogsketch worksheets versus paper worksheets for helping students understand spatial concepts in geoscience. Students either completed CogSketch worksheets all semester or nearly identical paper worksheets. Pre-tests, immediate post-tests, and delayed post-tests were used to measure learning gains attributed to worksheet use. We found three worksheets where CogSketch users improved significantly more than students using paper worksheets, one worksheet where the paper group improved significantly more than CogSketch users, and ten worksheets where there was no significant difference in learning. This study shows that CogSketch worksheets can be used on a large scale to implement frequent sketching, help students understand difficult geological concepts, improve spatial thinking, supply instant and helpful feedback to students, and reduce grading time for instructors.