What do you get with the course?
The course consists of 10 lessons. Each lesson has a recorded mini-lecture, an instructional software module with background information and exercises, demonstration sketching videos, and a chapter in a hard copy workbook with sketching problems. Since the workbook is hard copy, there is no automated grading. You will have an online solutions key to verify your answers. You will also receive snap cubes that are extremely helpful as you work on your sketching exercises. In fact, holding onto real, physical objects (like those you build with the blocks we send you) is critical to the development of your 3-D spatial skills. All of the lessons are self-paced. Your subscription to the course will be available for 2 years (*updated March 2019) from the time of purchase.
Access the course by logging into My Account (under Shop in the main menu).
Before you start the course, there is an online spatial test that will assess your spatial abilities. After you complete the course, there is another spatial test to assess your improvement. There is also a PAT sample test provided by the ADA. You can take the test as many times as you want with questions presented in topical groups.
Technical support for the course is primarily via email.
View sample resources for the course
How does this course relate to the PAT?
The course has ten modules or lessons that address specific spatial problems. The course lessons are related to the PAT as follows:
PAT Keyhole problems: Students are presented with a 2-dimensional drawing of a 3-dimensional object and must mentally rotate the object to try to fit it through one of five diagrams of an aperture. For Keyhole problems, once the object starts through the aperture, it cannot be turned in space.
Module 02: Combining Solids
Module 07: Rotation about 1 Axis
Module 08: Rotation about 2 Axes
Module 10: Cutting Planes
PAT Top, front and end views: These problems are essentially missing view problems where students are presented with two views of an object, e.g., the top and front views, and they must choose the missing view from the choices given.
Module 04: Orthographic Projection
Module 05: Inclined and Curved Surfaces
PAT Paper Folding : Students are presented with diagrams of a piece of paper that is folded in subsequent operations. A hole is then punched through the folded paper and students are instructed to mentally unfold it and select what it would look like from the choices given.
Module 06: Flat patterns
PAT Flat Patterns: Students are presented with a diagram of a flat pattern and instructed to imagine folding it to form a 3-D object.
Module 06: Flat patterns
PAT Painted Blocks: Students are presented with a diagram of a figure made from several blocks. They are instructed that the exposed sides of the blocks have been painted, but the unexposed sides and the sides on the bottom of the figure have not been painted. They are then asked various questions about the number of blocks with a given number of sides that have been painted, e.g., how many blocks have three sides painted?
Module 03: Isometric Sketching
Module 09: Object Reflections & Symmetry
PAT Perception of Angles: Determine the relative sizes of angles created by pairs of lines and select the correct order from smallest to largest.
The DIS course does not train students specifically for the perception of angles; however, in studies done with pre-dental students at the university level, student scores on this part of the PAT increased after participation in the spatial skills course.