Score Improvement Distribution When Using Sketch Recognition Software (Mechanix) as a Tutor: Assessment of a High School Classroom Pilot

  • Randy BrooksEmail author
  • Jung In Koh
  • Seth Polsley
  • Tracy Hammond
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


Effectively communicating engineering concepts in high school classrooms is an important goal of many curricula in secondary education since the material can help prepare students for future study in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. However, the material can be challenging. This work describes the deployment of Mechanix to a high school environment with the intent of improving the effectiveness of student practice regarding free body diagrams, vector analysis, and truss problem solving. Mechanix is a globally-available, Internet-connected digital tutor that provides immediate, constructive feedback to the learner while also providing student-level metrics to the instructor. It was made available to students in a STEM-infused classroom as part of Project Lead the Way (PLTW). The focus of this study is to evaluate the progress realized by differing academic levels of students. We used pre- and post-testing to assess progress, which showed an average increase of 1.65 points on a 12 point scale (p < 0. 005). A greater increase was found in the ‘A-level’ high school students while historical, college-level studies suggest significant progress may be realized at all levels versus current tutoring techniques as the students continue to utilize Mechanix.



The authors would like to thank the Lovejoy Independent School District, Texas A&M University, and the Sketch Recognition Lab for their unceasing support and assistance throughout this study. This work was supported in part by an NSF RET Supplement on project NSF EEC 1129525.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Randy Brooks
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jung In Koh
    • 2
  • Seth Polsley
    • 2
  • Tracy Hammond
    • 2
  1. 1.Lovejoy Independent School DistrictLucasUSA
  2. 2.Sketch Recognition Lab, Department of Computer Science & EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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