University of Tasmania
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Undergraduate student acceptance of haptic simulation in gross anatomy learning

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posted on 2023-05-27, 11:06 authored by Soonja YeomSoonja Yeom
Factors influencing undergraduate students' acceptance of a computer-aided learning (CAL) resource for learning anatomy were researched and evaluated. The resource used the Phantom Omni haptic stylus, which enables the user to rotate, receive touch and kinaesthetic feedback, and display the names of three-dimensional (3D) human anatomical structures. The perceived value of the system was investigated with respect to user characteristics and system functionality. The Learning Anatomy with Haptic Feedback System (LAHFS) was developed using the software development life cycle over three stages. It was tested by students enrolled in bachelor degrees, including medicine, health sciences, education, and computing. Their responses and attitudes towards LAHFS were investigated using action research and design research methodology frameworks, and quantitative and qualitative data were analysed using mixed methods. Participants generally thought the haptic learning system was useful, was easy to use, and that they had performed well with it. Their perception of any negative aspects was low, with little experience of mental or physical stress. User intention to use the system or recommend it to others correlated with their perception of usefulness and ease of use, more strongly with the former. Ease of use ratings were significantly correlated with perceptions of system usefulness and the usefulness of a quiz introduced in the final version. Students with greater kinaesthetic learning preferences tended to rate the system higher, and students with prior experience with 3D interfaces had higher intention to use the system. Previous experience with haptic interfaces did not affect user acceptance. Despite rating their performance with the system lower, females were more likely to use or recommend the system than males. Qualitative analysis of feedback on the LAHFS system indicated that haptic feedback and 3D visualisation were considered the best aspects of the system. Suggested improvements included more rapid response times and extension to a three dimensional display. Rankings of various learning resources suggested LAHFS may be a better way of learning anatomy than websites, other software, or anatomical atlases. Ease of use ratings declined across the three versions as modules were added and system complexity increased. Much previous research relating to haptic devices in medical and health sciences has focused on advanced trainees learning surgical or procedural skills. This study suggests that incorporating haptic feedback into virtual anatomical models is a useful strategy at an undergraduate level.


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Copyright 2016 the author

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