Investigation and development of a tangible technology framework for highly complex and abstract concepts

PhD thesis


De Raffaele, C. 2019. Investigation and development of a tangible technology framework for highly complex and abstract concepts. PhD thesis Middlesex University School of Science and Technology
TypePhD thesis
TitleInvestigation and development of a tangible technology framework for highly complex and abstract concepts
AuthorsDe Raffaele, C.
Abstract

The ubiquitous integration of computer-supported learning tools within the educational domain has led educators to continuously seek effective technological platforms for teaching and learning. Overcoming the inherent limitations of traditional educational approaches, interactive and tangible computing platforms have consequently garnered increased interest in the pursuit of embedding active learning pedagogies within curricula. However, whilst Tangible User Interface (TUI) systems have been successfully developed to edutain children in various research contexts, TUI architectures have seen limited deployment towards more advanced educational pursuits.
Thus, in contrast to current domain research, this study investigates the effectiveness and suitability of adopting TUI systems for enhancing the learning experience of abstract and complex computational science and technology-based concepts within higher educational institutions (HEI)s. Based on the proposal of a contextually apt TUI architecture, the research describes the design and development of eight distinct TUI frameworks embodying innovate interactive paradigms through tabletop peripherals, graphical design factors, and active tangible manipulatives. These computationally coupled design elements are evaluated through summative and formative experimental methodologies for their ability to aid in the effective teaching and learning of diverse threshold concepts experienced in computational science.
In addition, through the design and adoption of a technology acceptance model for educational technology (TAM4Edu), the suitability of TUI frameworks in HEI education is empirically evaluated across a myriad of determinants for modelling students’ behavioural intention. In light of the statistically significant results obtained in both academic knowledge gain (μ = 25.8%) and student satisfaction (μ = 12.7%), the study outlines the affordances provided through TUI design for various constituents of active learning theories and modalities. Thus, based on an empirical and pedagogical analyses, a set of design guidelines is defined within this research to direct the effective development of TUI design elements for teaching and learning abstract threshold concepts in HEI adaptations.

LanguageEnglish
Department nameSchool of Science and Technology
Institution nameMiddlesex University
Publication dates
Print23 Oct 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Oct 2019
Accepted27 Aug 2019
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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