East Lansing, Michigan
July 26, 2020
July 26, 2020
July 28, 2020
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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