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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Feel, imagine and learn! - Haptic augmented simulation and embodied instruction in physics learning
by Han, In Sook, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2010, 152; 3425018
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the potentials and effects of an embodied instructional model in abstract concept learning. This embodied instructional process included haptic augmented educational simulation as an instructional tool to provide perceptual experiences as well as further instruction to activate those previous experiences with perceptual simulation. In order to verify the effectiveness of this instructional model, haptic augmented simulation with three different haptic levels (force and kinesthetic, kinesthetic, and non-haptic) and instructional materials (narrative and expository) were developed and their effectiveness tested.

220 fifth grade students were recruited to participate in the study from three elementary schools located in lower SES neighborhoods in Bronx, New York. The study was conducted for three consecutive weeks in regular class periods. The data was analyzed using ANCOVA, ANOVA, and MANOVA.

The result indicates that haptic augmented simulations, both the force and kinesthetic and the kinesthetic simulations, was more effective than the non-haptic simulation in providing perceptual experiences and helping elementary students to create multimodal representations about machines' movements. However, in most cases, force feedback was needed to construct a fully loaded multimodal representation that could be activated when the instruction with less sensory modalities was being given. In addition, the force and kinesthetic simulation was effective in providing cognitive grounding to comprehend a new learning content based on the multimodal representation created with enhanced force feedback. Regarding the instruction type, it was found that the narrative and the expository instructions did not make any difference in activating previous perceptual experiences.

These findings suggest that it is important to help students to make a solid cognitive ground with perceptual anchor. Also, sequential abstraction process would deepen students' understanding by providing an opportunity to practice their mental simulation by removing sensory modalities used one by one and to gradually reach abstract level of understanding where students can imagine the machine's movements and working mechanisms with only abstract language without any perceptual supports.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Black, John B.
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Instructional Design, Cognitive psychology, Science education
Keywords: Augmented simulation, Haptic simulations, Physics learning
Publication Number: 3425018
ISBN: 978-1-124-25392-3
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