Framework for Electronic Enhancement of Laboratories
Information and Motivation:
The current demographics of students, known as Millennials or Generation Y, have had wide exposure to vast arrays of technology and are greatly more adapt at applying these technologies in learning environments than their previous alumni. High multimedia expectations coupled with low attention spans increase the challenge of engaging a student in learning activities by conventional pedagogical methods. Cognitive studies have shown that students would be more apt to learn if the method of exposure engaged them. If students could apply higher levels of technology, what they are accustomed, to their learning objectives they could more easily understand abstract/difficult concepts to better relate new information to what they already understand. Without the engagement of students in learning we will face more failing grades, higher expulsion rates, increased dropouts, and a lower number of undergraduate degree completions, especially in the various STEM disciplines.
The goal of this project is to explore the opportunities for a broad adoption of haptic-enabled interfaces in physics courses that will engage students in the learning process generating a new and deeper level of engagement while improving their level of retention. Many fundamental concepts in physics require the development of active mental models for the students to understand the physical and mathematical components. We propose to stimulate student attention and facilitate the understanding of difficult/abstract concepts while improving their mental models using haptic augmentation. The project will also improve faculty and student expertise in haptic computer-based simulations.
Investigate simulations of force-feedback mechanisms to illustrate physics concepts and determine a methodology for large-scale haptic hardware deployment in a laboratory environment in conjunction with existing equipment.
Design and develop a set of prototype visuo-haptic enabled simulations for difficult/abstract concepts in physics with the goal of improving the student knowledge integration process.
Deploy these applications at the college level in a laboratory environment and assess the improvement in both level of student engagement and learning.
Develop a methodology for deployment of visuo-haptic enabled applications on a broad scale in a laboratory environment.