Multimodal, Visuo-Haptic Games for Abstract Theory Instruction: Grabbing Charged Particles

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Journal on Multimodal User Interface




An extensive metamorphosis is currently taking place in the education industry due to the rapid adoption of different technologies and the proliferation of new student-instructor and student–student interaction models. While traditional face-to-face interaction is still the norm, mobile, online and virtual augmentations are increasingly adopted worldwide. Moreover, with the advent of gaming technology besides the 3D visual paradigm, the “touch” and “feel” paradigm is slowly taking its place in the user interface design through gamification. While haptic (force feedback) devices were barely available a decade ago outside research laboratories, the rapid rise in gaming technology has driven the cost significantly lower enabling the spread of these devices in many households and the wide public. This article presents a novel haptic-based training tool implemented as a gaming scenario to assist students in learning of abstract concepts in Physics. The focus is on electromagnetism as one of the fundamental forces in nature and specifically the abstractions used as building blocks around the Lorentz force. Experimental results suggest that by introducing well designed visual-haptic interfaces in presenting abstract concepts, students become better engaged in the classrooms and superior learning outcomes can be achieved.


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