Visuo-haptic simulations to improve students' understanding of friction concepts uri icon


  • © 2018 IEEE. Statics is a backbone course for several engineering disciplines and also a pre-requisite for dynamics and mechanics of materials. Researchers have identified a lack of understanding of statics as a significant source of difficulties in terms of both conceptual understanding, representation of free body diagrams (FBD) and problem-solving ability. Our approach to improve the learning of the concept of friction focuses on students' understanding of acting forces and specific components of such forces of a system. The presented quasi-experimental study investigates how the use of visuo-haptic simulations can improve students understanding and use of FBD. Specifically, we compared two visuo-haptic simulations; one that explicitly visually depicts FBD of multiple objects interacting with different surfaces, while the other only provides haptic feedback while students engage in the same forms of interaction. Our results suggest that using the visuo-haptic simulator with FBD leads to better learning results. These findings support the hypothesis that appropriately sequenced visuo-haptic simulators with well-designed visual cues can help students to better understand and use FBD.

Publication date

  • March 4, 2019