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Bernadett Babály and Andrea Kárpáti: Assessment of Spatial Abilities Through Paper-Based and Online Tests

Research reported here focuses on the detection, description and assessment of spatial abilities used in everyday life. This study describes paper-based and online (digital) testing instruments developed for students aged 10–13. The content and methodology of these tests are compatible with the Hungarian National Curriculum for Visual Culture (Art) and current international trends in spatial abilities research. Tests were piloted in different regions of Hungary in school years 4–8 (N=1189). The online testing environment used for the administration of the digital tests was the eDia, the Hungarian Electronic Diagnostic Assessment System. In multiple iterations, eight test types were used with a total of 62 tasks of different difficulty levels, targeted to the skills of the five school years under examination. Our results suggest that spatial abilities may be reliably assessed in age groups rarely targeted by visual skills studies. Through an authentic, lifelike formulation of tasks, spatial skill components, like mental rotation and transformation, which have previously only been identified and measured from age 13, may be reliably assessed as early as ages 10, 11 and 12. Analyses of results revealed factors influencing the perception and interpretation of space and showed strategies used by pre-adolescents in solving spatial problems. It is hoped that these research findings will aid in the work of developing these important skills in art education as well as in other areas – skills that are key to success in everyday life and in a number of professions. Our test battery may be used in disciplines fostering spatial abilities and is among the first digital test collections for visual arts education in Europe.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 115. Number 2. 67-92. (2015)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Babály Bernadett, SZIE Ybl Miklós Építéstudományi Kar, ELTE Neveléstudományi Doktori Iskola, H–1146 Budapest, Thököly út 74. Kárpáti Andrea, ELTE TTK, Természettudományi Kommunikáció és UNESCO Multimédia¬peda¬gógia Központ, H–1117 Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/A épület, VII. em. 7.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia