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WIP: Building Intuition in Mechanics with Haptic Feedback

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Conference

2020 First-Year Engineering Experience

Location

East Lansing, Michigan

Publication Date

July 26, 2020

Start Date

July 26, 2020

End Date

July 28, 2020

Page Count

4

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35785

Download Count

32

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Paper Authors

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Pichayathida (Alice) Luanpaisanon University of Virginia

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Alice Luanpaisanon is a Biomedical engineering graduate student at the University of Virginia. She earned her Bachelor degree in Bioengineering at Valparaiso University. Her research interests include computational modeling of biological systems, molecular-immuno engineering, and cardiovascular engineering.

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Carter Kenneth McCullough Human Machine Interface Research Lab

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Carter McCullough is an undergraduate student at Valparaiso University. He is studying Bioengineering with a focus in Bioelectrical Engineering.

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Ryan Van Der Zee Caterpillar Inc.

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Ryan Van Der Zee is a Mechanical Engineer at Caterpillar Inc. in Peoria, IL. He earned his B.S. degree Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Valparaiso University.

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Ruth Wertz P.E. Valparaiso University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-9698-3392

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Dr. Wertz is an Assistant Professor of General Engineering at Valparaiso University, located in Valparaiso Indiana. She has earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Trine University, a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education also from Purdue University. Dr. Wertz teaches courses in First-Year Engineering and Statics. Her research interests include K-8 outreach, spatial skill development, theories of teaching and learning, and online engineering education.

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Reva E. Johnson Valparaiso University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3725-0754

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Reva Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering at Valparaiso University. She received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Valparaiso University. She earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University, and worked at the Center for Bionic Medicine in the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Her research interests include learning and adaptation, human-machine interfaces, heart rate analysis for athletics, and STEM education.

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Abstract

Haptic technology is quickly emerging as a powerful tool for enriching human interaction with complex environments. In particular, the additional sensory feedback provided by haptic technology has been shown to lead to a richer understanding of complex environments and enhance comprehensive learning for new skills. In the field of engineering, complex structural models are common practice in many courses. These concepts often require intuitive understanding of the relationships between the system and environment. However, the traditional classroom lacks the interactive experience that has been proven to increase learning and retention. Haptic environments can improve the learning rate and comprehensive understanding of engineering concepts in the classroom. The goal of this Work in Progress research project is to conduct a comparative experiment using the Haply robot to explore the effect of learning via an interactive tool versus traditional learning. In this Work in Progress, two groups of engineering students who have not taken engineering mechanics courses (statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, or fluid mechanics) will undergo two different treatments to learn about concepts in mechanics that are known to be difficult for students to learn: moment and friction. This will be a quasi experimental study with the control group receiving a traditional worksheet with verbal explanations, print images, equations, and examples. The control group will work through a similar worksheet, but with the images and examples replaced by physical manipulation of the Haply virtual environment. Pre/post assessments that compare the control group and treatment group will be used to address two primary research questions: 1) is there a difference in students ability to accurately manipulate algorithms to solve moment and friction problems; and 2) is there a difference in students ability to answer conceptual questions about the system. To answer the first research question, items from the Concept Assessment Test for Statics (CATS) and one computational problem will be given to the students to answer and solve, and for the second research question, a series of open-ended questions will be drafted to isolate changes to the system based on changes to a single parameter. We hypothesize that the students who engaged with the interactive Haply virtual environment will develop a deeper understanding of how the system will behave under different conditions, and thus will be able to answer the open-ended questions with more accuracy than the control group. The concern, however, is that the intuitive sense may come at the expense of algorithmic understanding, and so this will be investigated as well. We intend to expand the scope of this project to a wider range of target audiences, including middle and high school students, to better understand the effects of haptic learning across age groups.

Luanpaisanon, P. A., & McCullough, C. K., & Van Der Zee, R., & Wertz, R., & Johnson, R. E. (2020, July), WIP: Building Intuition in Mechanics with Haptic Feedback Paper presented at 2020 First-Year Engineering Experience, East Lansing, Michigan. https://peer.asee.org/35785

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