ERIC Number: EJ935903
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
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.)
Descriptors: Molecular Structure, Science Instruction, Tactual Perception, Educational Technology, Computer Uses in Education, Models, Chemistry, Graduate Students, Pretests Posttests, College Science, Qualitative Research, Cognitive Processes, Scientific Concepts, Motion, Computer Software, Foreign Countries, Semantics, Worksheets, Concept Formation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden