Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer and Information Technology

First Advisor

Alejandra J Magana

Committee Member 1

Andrew S Hirsch

Committee Member 2

Bedrich Benes


The present study assessed the benefits of a multisensory intervention on the conceptual understanding of electric field for distributed charges in engineering and technology undergraduate students. A novel visuohaptic intervention was proposed, which focused on exploring the forces around the different electric field configurations for distributed charges namely point, infinitely long line and uniformly charged ring. The before and after effects of the visuohaptic intervention are compared, wherein the intervention includes instructional scaffolding. Three single-group studies were conducted to investigate the effect among three different populations: (a) Undergraduate engineering students, (b) Undergraduate technology students and (c) Undergraduate engineering technology students from a different demographic setting. The findings from the three studies suggests that the haptic modality intervention provides beneficial effects by allowing students to improve their conceptual understanding of electric field for distributed charges, although students from groups (b) and (c) showed a statistically significant increase in the conceptual understanding. The findings also indicate a positive learning perception among all the three groups.