Students Metacognitive Challenge in the Interpretation of Mechanical Drawings in Engineering Graphics and Design

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Thokozani Isaac Mtshal


There is great presence of misinterpretation of drawings, line types and application of drawing symbols among engineering graphics and design students. This is testament to the low pass rate in the sectional mechanical drawings where students are expected to apply different line types and drawing symbols to communicate a cast machine drawing. The purpose of this study was to understand how Engineering Graphics and Design (EGD) students interpret machine drawings from the scope of Engineering Graphics and Design. A case of first year preservice teachers in a university was used in this study to look at the extent to which students can interpret mechanical drawings which is the most complicated topic in machine drawings. Data was collected through classroom observations and students’ daily exercises (sectional mechanical drawings). Two lessons were observed, and students’ portfolio was used to collect data. Narrative analysis was used to analyse classroom observations and checklist were used to analyse students’ activity portfolio to identify how they interpret Sectional Mechanical Drawing. The study found that most students lack relevant manipulative and spatial skills that are necessary for Sectional Mechanical Drawing. Moreover, they have a challenge to activate their cognitive capabilities that would help them to see how machine parts are to be drawn when subjected to sectioning. This was mostly attributed to the lecturer’s way of teaching about machine drawings. Thus, a more student-centred approach coupled with guided discovery method is recommended to assist students in interpreting mechanical drawings.

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