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Haptic Augmentation of Science Instruction: Does Touch Matter?

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Science Education Volume 90, Number 1, ISSN 0036-8326


This study investigated the impact of haptic augmentation of a science inquiry program on students' learning about viruses and nanoscale science. The study assessed how the addition of different types of haptic feedback (active touch and kinesthetic feedback) combined with computer visualizations influenced middle and high school students' experiences. The influences of a PHANToM (a sophisticated haptic desktop device), a Sidewinder (a haptic gaming joystick), and a mouse (no haptic feedback) interface were compared. The levels of engagement in the instruction and students' attitudes about the instructional program were assessed using a combination of constructed response and Likert scale items. Potential cognitive differences were examined through an analysis of spontaneously generated analogies that appeared during student discourse. Results showed that the addition of haptic feedback from the haptic-gaming joystick and the PHANToM provided a more immersive learning environment that not only made the instruction more engaging but may also influence the way in which the students construct their understandings about abstract science concepts.


Jones, M.G., Minogue, J., Tretter, T.R., Negishi, A. & Taylor, R. (2006). Haptic Augmentation of Science Instruction: Does Touch Matter?. Science Education, 90(1), 111-123. Retrieved May 23, 2022 from .

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