June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Educational Research and Methods
23.831.1 - 23.831.16
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. 10.18260/1-2--19845
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