Minogue J, Jones G, Broadwell B, Oppewall T. The impact of haptic augmentation on middle school students' conceptions of the animal cell. Virtual Reality. 2006;10(3-4):293-305

Of the five sensory channels—sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch, it is only our sense of touch that enables us to modify and manipulate the world around us. This article reports the preliminary findings of a systematic study investigating the efficacy of adding haptic feedback to a desktop virtual reality program for use in middle school science instruction. Current technology allows for the simulation of tactile and kinesthetic sensations via sophisticated haptic devices and a computer interface. This research, conducted with 80 middle school students, examined the cognitive and affective impact of this technology on students’ understandings of the structure and function of an animal cell. The results of this work offer valuable insights into the theoretical and practical considerations involved in the development and implementation of haptically augmented virtual reality instructional programs.