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Investigating the Impact of Visuohaptic Simulations for Conceptual Understanding in Electricity and Magnetism

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Misconceptions

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

16

Page Numbers

23.831.1 - 23.831.16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19845

Download Count

28

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Paper Authors

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Karla L. Sanchez Purdue University

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Graduate Student in the Computer and Information Technology department, currently working as a Research Assistant in the Computer and Education Technology field.

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Alejandra J. Magana Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6117-7502

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is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer and Information Technology at Purdue University West Lafayette. Magana’s research interests are centered on the integration of cyberinfrastructure, computation, and computational tools and methods to: (a) leverage the understanding of complex phenomena in science and engineering and (b) support scientific inquiry learning and innovation. Specific efforts focus on studying cyberinfrastructure affordances and identifying how to incorporate advances from the learning sciences into authoring curriculum, assessment, and learning materials to appropriately support learning processes.

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David Sederberg Purdue University

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Grant P Richards Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Grant P. Richards is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Purdue University. His research focuses on learning styles and visual learning tools.

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M. Gail Jones NC State University

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Gail Jones is professor of STEM education at NC State University, Fellow at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, and Precollege Education Director ASSIST Engineering Center.

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Hong Z Tan Purdue University

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Hong Z. Tan is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering with courtesy appointments in Mechanical Engineering and Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. Her research focuses on haptic human-machine interfaces and haptic perception. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal and conference articles in haptics research. She is known internationally as a leading expert on haptics psychophysics, taking a perception-based approach to solving engineering problems. She is frequently invited to give keynote speeches at international conferences and research institutions, educating a broad audience on haptics and its emerging applications in human computer interaction, robotics, medicine and education.
Tan received her Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, P.R. China. She earned her Master and Doctorate degrees, both in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She was a Research Scientist at the MIT Media Lab before joining the faculty at Purdue's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1998. She has held a McDonnell Visiting Fellowship at Oxford University, a Visiting Associate Professorship in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University, a Guest Researcher position in the Institute of Life Science and Technology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and a Visiting Researcher position at Microsoft Research Asia.
Tan was a recipient of the prestigious US National Science Foundation's Early Faculty Development (CAREER) Award, and she was a Chinese National Natural Science Funds' Distinguished (Overseas) Young Scholar. In addition to serving on numerous program committees, she was a co-organizer (with Blake Hannaford) of the International Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems from 2003 to 2005. In 2006, Tan served as the Founding Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics (TCH). The TCH played a key role in launching the IEEE Transactions on Haptics (ToH) in 2008. Tan has served as a ToH Associate Editor since the journal's birth, and received a Meritorious Service Award in 2012. She is currently Editor-in-Chief of the World Haptics Conference Editorial Board.

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Abstract

Investigating the Impact of Visuohaptic Simulations for Conceptual Understanding in Electricity and MagnetismBackground and motivationResearch has proven that abstract concepts such as electromagnetism are not fully understood amonghighschool and college students. We hypothesize that multimodal presentation of information—i.e.,visual simulations coupled with haptic technology—may lead to better understanding of difficult conceptscompared to visual presentation alone. According to dual-coding theory individuals learn better wheninformation is presented simultaneously in both visual and verbal channels. Supported by this theory weargue that understanding difficult concepts in science and engineering may be better supported wheninformation is presented simultaneously in visual and tactile channels. Haptic technology takes advantageof the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user, and provides learners withanother level of interaction in addition to the simulation or visualization only by moving a point throughthe volume of the simulation while passing through object boundaries.MethodsThis pretest and posttest quasi experimental design was developed to investigate the impact of visualsimulations coupled with haptic technology on electromagnetism concept learning. Selected questionsfrom Maloney’s et al., survey of conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism were used as the datacollection method. A freshmen class of 70 electrical engineering technology students participated in thestudy. Students were divided into two groups: a control group with only visual simulations and anexperimental group with visual simulations plus haptic feedback. The performance of both groups wasexamined and compared to assess impact of haptic feedback on the acquisition of electromagnetismconceptual understanding.ResultsThis abstract reports preliminary results on the pretest and posttest data from a pilot group of six Physicsstudents. All six students were exposed to the experimental condition—i.e., force feedback. As shown inTable 1, these results suggest a slight increase on the posttest in all students but one. Due to the smallsample size a significant difference cannot be concluded at this point. Table 1. Preliminary results from the pilot study on the experimental condition %pretest %posttest Student 1 67% 75% Student 2 67% 75% Student 3 75% 83% Student 4 17% 25% Student 5 92% 92% Student 6 75% 67% TOTAL 65% 69%The final version of this paper will report all data from the freshman class of 70 students. Comparisonsbetween their pretests and posttests, as well as the differences between control and experimental groups,will be also fully described.Conclusions and significancePrevious research on the educational value of haptic technology for supporting learning of psychomotorskills suggests that performance of psychomotor skills is better with combined visual and haptic feedbackrather than with either visual or haptic feedback alone. However, previous studies exploring conceptualunderstanding have yielded inconclusive results and have yet to provide empirical evidence for theexistence of the cognitive impact of haptic technology. We believe that previous studies that have focusedon the use of haptic technology for conceptual understanding have not found significant differencesbecause the visual information was sufficient for students to understand simple concepts. This study, incontrast, focuses on more difficult concepts that are not visible to the naked eye.

Sanchez, K. L., & Magana, A. J., & Sederberg, D., & Richards, G. P., & Jones, M. G., & Tan, H. Z. (2013, June), Investigating the Impact of Visuohaptic Simulations for Conceptual Understanding in Electricity and Magnetism Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19845

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