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ERIC Number: EJ935903
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Do Haptic Representations Help Complex Molecular Learning?
Bivall, Petter; Ainsworth, Shaaron; Tibell, Lena A. E.
Science Education, v95 n4 p700-719 Jul 2011
This study explored whether adding a haptic interface (that provides users with somatosensory information about virtual objects by force and tactile feedback) to a three-dimensional (3D) chemical model enhanced students' understanding of complex molecular interactions. Two modes of the model were compared in a between-groups pre- and posttest design. In both modes, users could move and rotate virtual 3D representations of the chemical structures of the two molecules, a protein and a small ligand molecule. In addition, in a haptic mode users could feel the interactions (repulsive and attractive) between molecules as forces with a haptic device. Twenty postgraduate students (10 in each condition) took pretests about the process of protein-ligand recognition before exploring the model in ways suggested by structured worksheets and then completing a posttest. Analysis addressed quantitative learning outcomes and more qualitatively students' reasoning during the learning phase. Results showed that the haptic system helped students learn more about the process of protein-ligand recognition and changed the way they reasoned about molecules to include more force-based explanations. It may also have protected students from drawing erroneous conclusions about the process of protein-ligand recognition observed when students interacted with only the visual model. (Contains 5 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden