Authors: Bronne C. Dytoc
A pilot study conducted to determine whether the instruction of graphic learning strategies for the introductory course on structures in an undergraduate architecture program had a positive effect on students’ learning performance and their attitudes. This paper discusses the pilot study and its results. This topic of graphic learning methods for structures has been developed as a visual-biased alternative to the conventional approach of lecture-drills. Rooted in a few of the emerging trends and theories in instruction, chief of which are multimedia learning theory and embodied learning theory, the approach of employing graphic skills in learning introductory structures continues to develop and improve for motivation, learner engagement, and task performance. The study’s focus encompasses forces, their addition, equilibrium, and the analysis of external and internal forces in trusses. The pilot study, in a quasi-experimental format, assigned one class as the control (lecture, n=35) and another class as the intervention (graphics, n=34). The midterm examination’s main task of truss analysis served as the performance assessment tool. A post-exam survey was also conducted to gauge the attitudes of students of both classes. Though the naturalistic setting of the classes and low sample population allows for lesser accuracy, the pilot study’s initial findings may already suggest that the use of graphic-based strategies in teaching and learning structures may have a modest positive effect on performance and attitudes. Further research may be conducted to add to these initial findings, as well as address questions of knowledge mastery and transfer into design studio settings.
Keywords: Architecture education, learning of structures, graphic learning strategies, multimedia learning, embodied learning