Technical report on the Enactive Torch

Here is a technical report on a pilot study using the Enactive Torch sensory substitution interface, which involved several different kinds of analyses.

The Enactive Torch: Interactive embodied learning with a sensory substitution interface

Ximena González Grandón, Leonardo Zapata-Fonseca, Hector Gómez-Escobar, Guillermo Ortíz-Garin, Javier Flores, Ariel Sáenz-Burrola, and Tom Froese

Traditionally, the pedagogical design for teaching and learning practices has been characterized as a process during which an active expert supports passive learner for the accomplishment of a specific goal or task. Nowadays, however, the accessibility of information technologies and the understanding of the learner’s active role have caused that interactive, embodied and contextual learning perspectives have begun to gain room. Here, we contribute with a technical report of a pilot study based on the Enactive Torch, a tool for the scientific study of perception, which aimed to investigate the crucial role of embodied process in the generation of perceptual experience for sensory substitution. In using this technological scaffolding, a group of students, from various academic disciplines, have coordinated and conducted three projects using different methods, each of them analyzing quantitative and qualitative data recorded from the participants’ first- and third-person perspective. By means of this practical engagement, the students gained awareness of the transformative potential of technology and developed insights into the challenges of performing interdisciplinary research with their peers, in regard to embodied perception and cognition. The study, therefore, serves as a proof-of-concept for the Enactive Torch, as a technological scaffolding, that can facilitate the kind of interactive learning that students need to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of human embodied cognition and its relationship with technology.

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