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ERIC Number: EJ1093006
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1059-0145
Investigating Students' Ideas about Buoyancy and the Influence of Haptic Feedback
Minogue, James; Borland, David
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v25 n2 p187-202 Apr 2016
While haptics (simulated touch) represents a potential breakthrough technology for science teaching and learning, there is relatively little research into its differential impact in the context of teaching and learning. This paper describes the testing of a haptically enhanced simulation (HES) for learning about buoyancy. Despite a lifetime of everyday experiences, a scientifically sound explanation of buoyancy remains difficult to construct for many. It requires the integration of domain-specific knowledge regarding density, fluid, force, gravity, mass, weight, and buoyancy. Prior studies suggest that novices often focus on only one dimension of the sinking and floating phenomenon. Our HES was designed to promote the integration of the subconcepts of density and buoyant forces and stresses the relationship between the object itself and the surrounding fluid. The study employed a randomized pretest-posttest control group research design and a suite of measures including an open-ended prompt and objective content questions to provide insights into the influence of haptic feedback on undergraduate students' thinking about buoyancy. A convenience sample (n = 40) was drawn from a university's population of undergraduate elementary education majors. Two groups were formed from haptic feedback (n = 22) and no haptic feedback (n = 18). Through content analysis, discernible differences were seen in the posttest explanations sinking and floating across treatment groups. Learners that experienced the haptic feedback made more frequent use of "haptically grounded" terms (e.g., mass, gravity, buoyant force, pushing), leading us to begin to build a local theory of language-mediated haptic cognition.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A