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An investigation of the impact of haptics for promoting understanding of difficult concepts in cell biology

Webb, M., Tracey, M., Harwin, W. ORCID:, Tokatli, O., Hwang, F. ORCID:, Barrett, N. ORCID:, Jones, C. ORCID: and Johnson, R. (2019) An investigation of the impact of haptics for promoting understanding of difficult concepts in cell biology. In: IFIP TC3 Open Conference on Computers in Education, 24-28 Jun 2018, Linz, Austria, pp. 197-206.

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This paper reports on a study which investigated whether the addition of haptics (virtual touch) to a three-dimensional (3D) virtual reality (VR) simulation promotes learning of key concepts in biology for students aged 12 to 13 years. We developed a virtual model of a section of the cell membrane and a haptic-enabled interface that allows students to interact with the model and to manipulate objects in the model. Students, in two schools in England, worked collaboratively on activities, in pairs, designed to support learning of key difficult concepts. These concepts included the dynamic nature of the cell membrane, passive diffusion and facilitated diffusion. Findings from observation of the activities and student interviews revealed that students were very positive about using the system and believed that being able to feel structures and movements within the model assisted their learning. Results of pre- and post-tests of conceptual knowledge showed significant knowledge gains but there were no significant differences between the haptic and non-haptic condition.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
ID Code:85732

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