Seeing Virtually: Toward a Vision of Teaching Physics in 3-D Space (SNGVRT)

Organization: San Diego State University
Funding Agency: National Science Foundation
Program: Research on Emerging Technologies for Teaching and Learning (RETTL)
HRI Role: Evaluation

Project Description
Certain introductory physics phenomena are difficult to visualize and manipulate in one’s mind, which is one reason why students struggle in introductory physics classes. This project hypothesizes that students’ understanding of introductory physics topics (i.e., electric and magnetic fields, the right-hand rule, solenoids, and electromagnetic waves) will be enhanced if they are able to interact with the objects in a Spatial Computing 3D environment. The project is developing and researching three such environments. The development of these environments is led by Altoura, a software company that creates spatial computing platforms, and the research is led by faculty at San Diego State University. The project aims research three key areas: (1) how learning can be identified and measured in the spatial computing environments, (2) how the nature of the learning changes when students use different tools (i.e., phone/tablet app versus headset), and (3) what teaching practices emerge and change to adapt to the different affordances of the tools and how those affordances can be best leverage to enhance visual representations.

Evaluation Services
HRI’s evaluation includes giving feedback on the project’s research design, processes, and products.