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ERIC Number: EJ1136819
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jun
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1059-0145
Students' Development of Representational Competence through the Sense of Touch
Magana, Alejandra J.; Balachandran, Sadhana
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v26 n3 p332-346 Jun 2017
Electromagnetism is an umbrella encapsulating several different concepts like electric current, electric fields and forces, and magnetic fields and forces, among other topics. However, a number of studies in the past have highlighted the poor conceptual understanding of electromagnetism concepts by students even after instruction. This study aims to identify novel forms of "hands-on" instruction that can result in representational competence and conceptual gain. Specifically, this study aimed to identify if the use of visuohaptic simulations can have an effect on student representations of electromagnetic-related concepts. The guiding questions is "How do visuohaptic simulations influence undergraduate students' representations of electric forces?" Participants included nine undergraduate students from science, technology, or engineering backgrounds who participated in a think-aloud procedure while interacting with a visuohaptic simulation. The think-aloud procedure was divided in three stages, a prediction stage, a minimally visual haptic stage, and a visually enhanced haptic stage. The results of this study suggest that students' accurately characterized and represented the forces felt around a particle, line, and ring charges either in the prediction stage, a minimally visual haptic stage or the visually enhanced haptic stage. Also, some students accurately depicted the three-dimensional nature of the field for each configuration in the two stages that included a tactile mode, where the point charge was the most challenging one.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1606396; 1449238