MULTIMODAL VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS: THE EFFECTS OF VISUO-HAPTIC SIMULATIONS ON CONCEPTUAL LEARNING
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Presently, it is possible to use virtual learning environments for simulating abstract and/or complex scientific concepts. Multimodal Virtual Learning Environments use multiple sensory stimuli, including haptic feedback, in the representation of concepts. Past research
on the utilization of haptics for learning has shown inconsistent results when gains in conceptual knowledge had been assessed. This research focused on two abstract phenomena
Electricity and Magnetism and Buoyancy. These abstract concepts were experienced by students using either visual, visuo-haptic, or hands-on learning activities. Embodied
Cognition Theory was used as a for the implementation of the learning environments. Both phenomena were assessed using qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques.
Results suggested that haptic, visual, and physical modalities affected positively the acquisition of conceptual knowledge of both concepts.