Purdue University Graduate School
Final_Dissertation_Yoselyn_Walsh.pdf (11.1 MB)

Improving conceptual understanding of statics concepts through tactile feedback tools

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posted on 2020-12-15, 22:04 authored by Yoselyn WalshYoselyn Walsh
Learning practices in education are constantly evolving to provide high-quality education. One of the trends used to provide high-quality education is incorporating technological tools to teach and learn STEM concepts. Implementing physical manipulative tools and virtual manipulative tools in STEM classrooms positively influenced conceptual learning. Furthermore, visuohaptic simulations are learning tools that combine physical and virtual manipulative affordances in a single learning experience. For investigating the value of visual and haptic feedback in virtual environments, we designed an embodied learning experience where learners used a hands-on tool for learning friction concepts. The theoretical framework of embodied learning guided the design of the learning tools and the research design. The learning tools were visuohaptic simulations and physical manipulative tool. Results suggested no influence in conceptual knowledge of the physical manipulative tool. On the opposite, results suggested a positive influence of the visuohaptic simulation on conceptual knowledge. Moreover, our studies suggested that learners exposed to enhanced visual feedback and haptic feedback used two different mechanisms for improving friction conceptual knowledge. When enhanced visual feedback was activated, learners read the cubes' forces from the computer screen for correcting their answer or reinforce their correct knowledge. When haptic feedback was activated, learners inferred about the cubes' forces from the haptic feedback for correcting their answer or reinforce their correct knowledge. In a sequenced approach of feedback of haptic to haptic + enhanced visual, learners obtained the benefits of the haptic and visual feedback for learning friction.


NSF EEC #1606396


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Alejandra J. Magana

Additional Committee Member 2

Edward Berger

Additional Committee Member 3

Paul Parsons

Additional Committee Member 4

Ida Ngambeki

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