Learning Symmetry with Tangible Robots


Robots bring a new potential for embodied learning in classrooms. With our project, we aim to ease the task for teachers and to show the worth of tangible manipulation of robots in educational contexts. In this article, we present the design and the evaluation of two pedagogical activities prepared for a primary school teacher and targeting common misconceptions when learning reflective symmetry. The evaluation consisted of a comparison of remedial actions using haptic-enabled tangible robots with using regular geometrical tools in practical sessions. Sixteen 10 y.o. students participated in a between-subject experiment in a public school. We show that this training with the tangible robots helped the remediation of parallelism and perpendicularity related mistakes commonly made by students. Our findings also suggest that the haptic modality of interaction is well suited to promote children’s abstraction of geometrical concepts from spatial representations.

International Conference on Robotics and Education RiE 2019