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Principal Investigator
Professor Margaret Cox

Senior Research Officer Dr. Jonathan P. San Diego
Senior Research Officer
Tel: 020-7848-7013



     Technology Enhanced Learning:

Personalised learning with Haptics when Teaching with online media, HapTEL (2007 - 2011)

Go to the new TEL HapTEL website



Margaret Cox (King's College London) (Principal Investigator)
Patricia Reynolds (King's College London)
Nairn Wilson (King's College London)
Alistair Barrow (University of Reading)
Stephen Dunne (King's College London)
Bruce Elson (Birmingham City University)
Joe Harper (King's College London)
William Harwin (University of Reading)
Lewis Hyland (King's College London, PhD Student)
Jon Hindmarsh (King's College London)
Jonathan P. San Diego (King's College London)
Brian Millar (King's College London)
Jonathon Newton (King's College London)
Barry Quinn (King's College London)
Brett Robinson (King's College London)
Mabel Slater (King's College London)
Brian Tse (University of Reading, PhD Student)
Mark Woolford (King's College London)

The HapTEL Project
Centre of Flexible Learning in Dentistry King's College London Dental Institute at Guy's, King's College and St Thomas' Hospitals Room 18/1 Floor 18, Tower Wing Guy's Hospital London SE1 9RT

New Phone Numbers:  Admin: 0207 188 1827
                    Margaret:  0207 188 1307
                    Jonathan:  0207 188 1831
                    Fax: 0207 188 1827


Project Summary

HapTEL is a 4-year collaborative project involving the following institutions:

  • King's College London,
    • Dental Institute,
    • Department of Management, Work, Interaction and Technology Research Group,
  • School of Systems Engineering - Cybernetics, University of Reading
  • School of Engineering Systems & Information Technology, Technology Innovation Centre, Birmingham City University

Haptics is the study of human touch and interaction with the external environment via touch.  The overall aim of the HapTEL project is to develop and evaluate haptic and synthetic on-line devices which will be used by a range of dental students and professionals to transform the quality of their learning.

The project work is divided into three strands:

  • Strand 1 - the technical strand to develop, evaluate and refine haptic devices and online simulations;
  • Strand 2 - the curriculum and context strand to develop and refine the dental curriculum and associated teaching strategies through a blended learning approach;
  • Strand 3 - the educational evaluation strand to measure the impact of the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) devices on teaching and learning;

Each of these strands and the overall work of the project will contribute to the goals and themes of the TLRP Programme through:

  • developing new kinds of tools which will provide technical solutions to the changing demands in dental education (Themes 2 & 5);
  • developing, producing  and testing human computer interface devices which provide 3-D tactile manipulation, training, and on-line simulations to reflect the individual learning needs of dental learners anytime anywhere (Themes 2 & 6);
  • Investigating the way in which human-computer interface haptic devices and on-line simulations can contribute to the learning of dental students and Dental Care Professionals (DCP) and eventually to other health care professionals. (Themes 1, 3 & 5);
  • identifying the pedagogies and pedagogical strategies which can incorporate TEL methods into undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in Dentistry (Theme 5);
  • developing a more cohesive pedagogical and institutional theoretical framework to incorporate the uses of 3-D and online TEL techniques which extends the affordances of the learners (Theme 3);
  • developing a more cohesive and comprehensive educational framework and research tools which can be used by other researchers and curriculum developers to analyse the possible contribution of TEL to post-16 education of professionals (All Themes).

The project involves working with a wide range of students who are either studying to become dentists or dental practitioners (dental nurses, hygienists etc.) or improving their professional practice. We also aim to find ways of incorporating beneficial uses of such technologies into 5-year traditional courses at universities. An important end goal of this project is to build a community of learners, scholars and practitioners engaged in work on and through technology enhanced learning, especially within the fields of healthcare (Theme 4). We will therefore establish a strong team of E-learning, robotics and clinical experts together with a psychologist and sociologist with extensive experience in working in dental education to achieve these aims.

The main outcomes from the project will be a set of haptic devices and online virtual 3-D environments which can be used by any students needing to develop these skills such as nurses, GPs, Vets etc. We shall also develop a comprehensive taxonomy of the characteristics of such devices and how they contribute to the range of manipulative skills needed. This will be linked to those attitudinal and belief factors of those involved in teaching the students or tutoring them to produce a theoretical tool which can be used by other researchers to analyse new technologies in education in the future.


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