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Best Practices for Teaching Haptics



The goal of this half-day tutorial is to communicate best practices for teaching haptics courses. This will be accomplished through presentations from experienced haptics instructors who have used a variety of content, haptics development platforms, and teaching styles over a collective 30+ years of teaching haptics, primarily at the graduate level. In addition, tutorial attendees will communicate their own identified best practices and participate in small group exercises to identify challenges, and solutions to those challenges, in teaching haptics.


As the field of haptics technology expands, both as a field of academic study and as an important component of interfaces in consumer and industrial products, there is an increasing need to educate the next generation of haptics researchers and practitioners. The maturation of some areas of haptics technology (in particular, kinesthetic interfaces) has over the last decade resulted in a set of principles and algorithms that provide a common framework for teaching and learning haptics. In addition, strategies for teaching and documenting successful techniques in emerging areas of haptic technology are needed.

Primary Objectives

 At the end of this tutorial, we expect that participants will:
• Understand the current landscape of haptics teaching worldwide
• Identify the range of technical content that could be included in a haptics course
• Have learned about strategies for conducting haptics course laboratories and projects
• Have access to useful haptics teaching resources (books, published tutorials, software, hardware, etc.)
• Participate actively in small group activities to define and communicate their own best practices for teaching haptics

Target Audience

Instructors, future instructors (e.g. students interested in academic careers), and employees at companies and research institutes with some familiarity with the haptics field and are interested in:
• Developing a course on haptics at their own institution
• Improving an existing haptics course
• Exchanging haptics teaching strategies with other instructors
• Writing tutorials or textbooks on haptics
• Developing software and hardware platforms for haptics education
• Identifying which core concepts a haptics researcher/practitioner should know

Schedule Description
8:30- 9:00 Allison Okamura

Haptics curriculum design


Sonny Chan

Teaching haptic rendering


Karon MacLean

Teaching interaction design
10:00-10:30 Moderator:
Allison Okamura
Small group activity: Challenges and best practices in teaching hands-on haptics courses
10:30-10:45   Break
10:45-11:15 Blake Hannaford Devices for teaching haptics
11:15-11:45 William Provancher Teaching haptics research through course projects
11:45-12:00 Moderator:
Allison Okamura
Panel Q&A / Discussion