Preschoolers’ stem learning on a haptic enabled tablet

Sarah Pila*, Anne Marie Piper, Alexis Lauricella, Ellen Wartella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The research on children’s learning of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics from electronic applications (apps) is limited, though it appears that children can reasonably transfer learning from tablet games to particular tasks. We were interested to determine whether these findings would translate to the emerging technology of haptic feedback tablets. The research on haptic feedback technology, specifically, has found that this type of feedback is effective in teaching physics concepts to older students. However, haptic feedback has not yet been sufficiently explored with younger groups (e.g., preschoolers). To determine the effect of playing a STEM game enhanced with haptic technology on learning outcomes, we designed an experiment where preschool participants were randomly exposed to one of three different conditions: (a) STEM game with no haptic feedback (tablet), (b) STEM game enabled with haptic feedback (haptics), or (c) a puzzle game (control). Results revealed no significant differences in comprehension or transfer by condition. Results from this study contribute to the literature on the effectiveness of haptic feedback for preschool STEM learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number87
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalMultimodal Technologies and Interaction
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Haptics
  • Learning
  • Preschoolers
  • STEM
  • Tablets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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