A Tangible User Interface to Facilitate Learning of Trigonometry

Francisco Javier Zamorano Urrutia, Catalina Cortés Loyola, Mauricio Herrera Marín


In mathematics education, studies reveal difficulties in the teaching-learning of trigonometry in secondary and higher education, due to the fact that students are not encouraged to achieve a deep conceptual understanding of abstract concepts. Several studies demonstrate that incorporating digital technologies has a positive impact on students’ learning. However, most of the existing technologies do not consider the use of the body and multiple senses. Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs) in contrast, can host bodily interactions that have the potential of enhancing learning. Nonetheless, there is a lack of applications of TUIs for trigonometry education. This study consisted in designing and validating a tangible interface for the teaching-learning of basic concepts of trigonometry. The interface hosts a pedagogical experience that privileges exploration through physical manipulation and fosters intuitive and collaborative learning. A Pre-Test was applied to 121 students to determine previous knowledge, yielding a 29.1% performance. After two sessions using the interface, the results of a Post-Test reveal an increase of 37.1%, confirming the educational effectiveness of the interface and the pedagogical experience to facilitate learning of basic concepts of trigonometry.


design; collaborative learning; Tangible User Interfaces; interaction; trigonometry

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Copyright (c) 2019 Francisco Javier Zamorano Urrutia, Catalina Cortés Loyola, Mauricio Herrera Marín

International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) – eISSN: 1863-0383
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