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Understanding the Notion of Friction Through Gestural Interaction with a Remotely Controlled Robot

  • Alexandros Merkouris
  • Betty Chorianopoulou
  • Konstantinos Chorianopoulos
  • Vassilios Chrissikopoulos
Article
  • 73 Downloads

Abstract

Embodied interaction with tangible interactive objects can be beneficial for introducing abstract scientific concepts, especially for young learners. Nevertheless, there is limited comparative evaluation of alternative interaction modalities with contemporary educational technology, such as tablets and robots. In this study, we explore the effects of touch and gestural interaction with a tablet and a robot, in the context of a primary education physics course about the notion of friction. For this purpose, 56 students participated in a between-groups study that involved four computationally enhanced interventions which correspond to different input and output modalities, respectively: (1) touch-virtual, (2) touch-physical, (3) hand gesture-virtual, and (4) hand gesture-physical. We measured students’ friction knowledge and examined their views. We found that the physical conditions had greater learning impact concerning friction knowledge compared to the virtual way. Additionally, physical manipulation benefited those learners who had misconceptions or limited initial knowledge about friction. We also found that students who used the more familiar touchscreen interface demonstrated similar learning gains and reported higher usability compared to those using the hand-tilt interface. These findings suggest that user interface familiarity should be carefully balanced with user interface congruency, in order to establish accessibility to a scientific concept in a primary education context.

Keywords

Embodied learning Educational robotics Human-robot interaction Science education Gestural congruency Surrogate embodiment Physicality 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of InformaticsIonian UniversityCorfuGreece
  2. 2.School of Science and TechnologyHellenic Open UniversityPatrasGreece

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