Pedagogical Agents as Learning Companions: The Role of Agent Competency and Type of Interaction

Article

Abstract

This study was designed to examine the effects of the competency (low vs. high) and interaction type (proactive vs. responsive) of pedagogical agents as learning companions (PALs) on learning, self-efficacy, and attitudes. Participants were 72 undergraduates in an introductory computer-literacy course who were randomly assigned to one of four treatments: Low-Proactive, Low-Responsive, High-Proactive, and High-Responsive. Results indicated a main effect for PAL competency. Students who worked with the high-competency PAL in both proactive and responsive conditions achieved higher scores in applying what they had learned and showed more positive attitudes toward the PAL. However, students who worked with the low-competency PAL reported significantly enhanced self-efficacy beliefs in the learning tasks. Also, there was a main effect far PAL interaction type. A proactive PAL had a significantly positive impact on recall. These different results on learning and motivational outcomes suggest that the competency and interaction type of a PAL should be designed according to the desired learning and motivational goals.

Keywords

pedagogical agents learning companioins human-computer interaction 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adolphs, R., & Damasio, A. R. (2000). The interaction of affect and cognition: A neuro-biological perspective. In J. P. Forgas (Ed.), Feeling and thinking: The role of affect in social cogniton: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Aimeur, E., & Frasson, C. (1996). Analyzing a new learning strategy according to different knowledge levels. Computers & Education, 27(2), 115–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aleven, V., & Koedinger, K. R. (2000). Limitations of student control: Do students know when they need help? Paper presented at the The 5th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, ITS 2000.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, J. R., Corbett, A. T., Koedinger, K. R., & PeUetier, K. (1995). Cognitive tutors: Lessons learned. The Journal of the Learning Science, 4(2), 167–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Atkinson, R. K. (2002). Optimizing learning from examples using animated pedagogical agents. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(2), 416–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social-cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  7. Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W. H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  8. Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bandura, A., & Schunk, D. H. (1981). Cultivating competence, self-efficacy, and intrinsic interest through proximal self-motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41, 586–598.Google Scholar
  10. Bates, J. (1992). The nature of characters in interactive worlds and the oz project (No. CMU-CS-92-200). Pittsburgh, PA: School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.Google Scholar
  11. Baylor, A. L. (2002). Expanding preservice teachers’ metacognitive awareness of instructional planning through pedagogical agents. Educational Technology Research & Development, 50(2), 5–22.Google Scholar
  12. Baylor, A. L., & Kim, Y. (2004). Pedagogical agent design: The impact of agent realism, gender, ethnicity, and instructional role. Paper presented at the Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil.Google Scholar
  13. Baylor, A. L., & Kim, Y. (2005). Simulating instructional roles through pedagogical agents. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 15.Google Scholar
  14. Bower, G. H., & Forgas, J. P. (2001). Mood and social memory. In J. P. Forgas (Ed.), Handbook of affect and social cognition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Google Scholar
  15. Britner, S. L., & Pajares, F. (2001). Self-efficacy beliefs, motivation, race, and gender in middle school science. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 7, 1–23.Google Scholar
  16. Chan, T. W., & Baskin, A. B. (1990). Learning companion systems. In C. Frasson & G. Gauthier (Eds.), Intelligent tutoring systems at the crossroads of artificial intelligence and education, (pp. 7–33): NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
  17. Chan, T. W., & Chou, C. Y. (1997). Exploring the design of computer supports for reciprocal tutoring systems. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 8, 1–29.Google Scholar
  18. Chou, C. Y., Chan, T. W., & Lin, C. J. (2003). Redefining the learning companion: The past, present, and future of educational agents. Computers & Education, 40, 255–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Clarebout, G., Elen, J., Johnson, W. L., & Shaw, E. (2002). Animated pedagogical agents: An opportunity to be grasped? Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 11(3), 267–286.Google Scholar
  20. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analyses for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  21. Cohen, P. A., Kulik, J. A., & Kulik, C.-L. C. (1982). Educational outcomes of tutoring: A meta-analysis of findings. American Educational Research Journal, 19(2), 237–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dempsey, J. V., & van Eck, R. (2003). Modality and placement of a pedagogical adviser in individual interactive learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 34(5), 585–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dick, W., Carey, L., & Carey, J. O. (2001). The systematic design of instruction (5th ed.). New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  24. Dillenbourg, P., & Self, J. (1992). People power: A human-computer collaborative learning system. In G. G. C. Frasson, & G. McCalla (Ed.), The 2nd international conference of intelligent tutoring systems, lecture notes in computer science (Vol. 608, pp. 651–660). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  25. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of learning for instruction. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  26. Erickson, T. (1997). Designing agents as if people mattered. In J. M. Bradshaw (Ed.), Software agents (pp. 79–96). Menlo Park, CA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  27. Gagne, R. M., Briggs, L. J., & Wager, W. W. (1992). Principles of instructional design (4th ed.). Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.Google Scholar
  28. Gay, G. (1986). Interaction of learner control and prior understanding in computer-assisted video instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 78(3), 225–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gertner, A. S., & VanLehn, K. (2000). Andes: A coached problem solving environment for physics. Paper presented at the ITS 2000, Montreal, Canada.Google Scholar
  30. Goodman, B., Seller, A., Linton, F., & Gaimari, R. (1998). Encouraging student reflection and articulartion using a learning companion. Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, Kobe, Japan.Google Scholar
  31. Graesser, A. C, Person, N. K., Harter, D., & Group, T. R. (2001). Teaching tactics and dialog in autotutor. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 12, 257–279.Google Scholar
  32. Graesser, A. C., VanLehn, K., Rose, C., Jordan, P., & Harter, D. (2001). Intelligent tutoring systems with conversational dialogue. AI Magazine, 22, 39–51.Google Scholar
  33. Griffin, M. M., & Griffin, B. W. (1998). An investigation of the effects of reciprocal peer tutoring on achievement, self-efficacy, and test anxiety. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 23(3), 298–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hietala, P., & Niemirepo, T. (1998). The competence of learning companion agents. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 9, 178–192.Google Scholar
  35. Jeong, A., & Davidson-Shivers, G. V. (2003). Gender interactions in online debates: Look who’s arguing with whom. Paper presented at the The Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago.Google Scholar
  36. Johnson, W. L., Rickel, J. W., & Lester, J. C. (2000). Animated pedagogical agents: Face-to-face interaction in interactive learning environments. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 11, 47–78.Google Scholar
  37. Kapoor, A., & Picard, R. W. (2005). Multimodal affect recognition in learning environments. ACMMMOS, Nov. 6–11. Singapore.Google Scholar
  38. Kim, Y. (2003a). An agent as a learning companion: What it matters. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Anaheim, CA.Google Scholar
  39. Kim, Y. (2003b). Pedagogical agent as learning companion: Its constituents and implications. Paper presented at the E-Learn, the Annual Conference of Association for the Advancement of computing in Education, Phoenix, AZ.Google Scholar
  40. Kim, Y. (2004). Learners’ expectations on the desirable characteristics of learning companions. Paper presented at the the Annual Conference of American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.Google Scholar
  41. King, I. (1998). Transactive peer tutoring: Distributing cognition and metacognition. Educational Psychology Review, 10(1), 57–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Koedinger, K. R., & Anderson, J. R. (1997). Intelligent tutoring goes to school in the big city. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 8, 30–43.Google Scholar
  43. Large, A. (1996). Hypertext instructional programs and learner control: A research review. Educational for Information, 14(2), 95–107.Google Scholar
  44. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (2001). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Mayer, R. E., & Gallini, J. K. (1990). When is an illustration worth ten thousand words? Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(4), 715–726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mclnerney, D. M., & Van Etten, S. (Eds.). (2000). Research on sociocultural influences on motivation and learning. Greenwich: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  47. Mdnerney, D. M., & Van Etten, S. (Eds.)- (2002). Sociocultural influences on motivation and learning (Vol. 2). Greenwich: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  48. Microsoft. (2001). Farewell clippy: What’s happening to the infamous office assistant in office xp. Retrieved May 10, 2005, from http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/fea-tures/2001/apr01/04-llclippy.asp
  49. Moreno, R., Mayer, R. E., Spires, H. A., & Lester, J. C. (2001). The case for social agency in computer-based teaching: Do students learn more deeply when they interact with animated pedagogical agents? Cognition and Instruction, 19(2), 177–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Mulken, S. V., Andre, E.,&Muller, J. (1998). The persona effect: How substantial is it? Paper presented at the HCI-98, Berlin.Google Scholar
  51. Nijholt, A. (2001). Agents, believability, and environment in advanced learning environments: Introduction to a panel discussion. Paper presented at the International Conference of Advanced Learning Technologies, Madison, Wisconsin.Google Scholar
  52. Norman, D. A. (1997). How might people interact with agents? In J. M. Bradshaw (Ed.), Software agents (pp. 49–55). The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  53. Palinscar, A., & Brown, A. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and Instruction, 1(2), 117–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Perkins, D. N. (1992). Smart schools: Better thinking and learning for every child. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  55. Picard, R., Cassell, J., Kort, B., Reilly, R., Bickmore, T. W., Kapoor, A., Mota, S., & Vaucelle, C. Affective learning companion. Retrieved January 23, 2006, from www.media.mit.edu/affect/AC_ressearch/lc/.Google Scholar
  56. Powell, J. V., Aeby, V. G., & Carpenter-Aeby, T. (2003). A comparison of student outcomes with and without teacher facilitated computer-based instruction. Computers & Education, 40, 183–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Reeves, B., & Nass, C. (1996). The media equation: How people treat computers, television, and new media like real people and places. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Ross, S. M., & Morrison, G. R. (1989). In search of a happy medium in instructinal technology research: Issues concerning external validity, media reflections, and learner control. Educational Technology Research and Development, 37(1), 19–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Ross, S. M., Morrison, G. R., & O’Dell, J. (1989). Uses and effects of learner control of ontent and instructional support in computer-based instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 37(4), 29–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Rowell, P. M. (2002). Peer interactions in shared technological activity: A study of participation. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 12, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ryokai, K., Vaucelle, C., & Cassell, J. (2003). Virtual peers as partners in storytelling and literacy learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 19(2), 195–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schunk, D. H. (1987). Peer models and children’s behavioral change. Review of Educational Research, 57(2), 149–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schunk, D. H., Hanson, A. R., & Cox, P. D. (1987). Peer model attributes and children’s achievement behaviors. Journal of Educational Psychology, 79, 54–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Shin, E. C., Schallert, D. L., & Savenye, W. C. (1994). Effects of learner control, advisement, and prior knowledge on young students’ learning in a hypertext environment. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42(1), 33–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Skinner, E. A., & Belmont, M. J. (1993). Motivation in the classroom: Reciprocal effects of teachers’ behavior and student engagement across the school year. Journal of Educantional Psychology, 85, 571–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Steinberg, E. R. (1989). Cognition and learner control: A literature review. Journal of Computer-Based Instruction, 16(4), 117–121.Google Scholar
  67. Sutton, R. E., & Wheatley, K. F. (2003). Teachers’ emotions and teaching: A review of the literature and directions for future research. Educational Psychology Review, 15(4), 327–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Topping, K. (Ed.). (2001). Peer-assisted learning: A practical guide for teachers. Newton, MA: Brookline Books.Google Scholar
  69. Topping, K., Hill, S., McKaig, A., Rogers, C, Rushi, N., & Young, D. (1997). Paired reciprocal peer tutoring in undergraduate economics. Innovations in Education and Training International, 34(2), 96–113.Google Scholar
  70. Uresti, R. J. (2000). Should i teach my computer peer? Some issues in teaching a learning companion. Paper presented at the Intelligent Tutoring Systems 2000, Montreal, Canada.Google Scholar
  71. Uresti, R. J., & Boulay, B. D. (2004). Expertise, motivation and teaching in learning companion systems. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 14, 193–231.Google Scholar
  72. van Eck, R., & Dempsey, J. (2002). The effect of competition and contextualized advisement on the transfer of mathematics skills in a computer-based instructional simulation game. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(3), 23–41.Google Scholar
  73. VanLehn, K., Freedman, R., Jordan, P., Murray, C., Osan, R., Ringenberg, M., et al. (2000). Fading and deepening: The next steps for andes and other model-tracing tutors. Paper presented at the ITS 2000, Montreal, Canada.Google Scholar
  74. Vygotsky, L. S., Cole, M., John-Steiner, V., Scribner, S., & Souberman, E. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  75. Wertsch, J. V., Minick, N., & Arns, F. J. (1984). The creation of context in joint problem-solving. In B. Rogoff & J. Lave (Eds.), Everyday cognition (pp. 151–171). Bridgewater, NJ: Replica Books.Google Scholar
  76. Wong, C. A., & Dornbusch, S. M. (2000). Adolescent engagement in school and problem behaviors: The role of perceived teacher caring. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.Google Scholar
  77. Woolf, B. (1990). 20 years in the trenches: What have we learned? In C. Frasson & G. Gauthier (Eds.), Intelligent tutoring systems: At the crossroads of artificial intelligence and education, (pp. 7–33). NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
  78. Xiao, J., Stasko, J., & Catrambone, R. (2004). An empirical study of the effect of agent competence on user performance and perception. Paper presented at the Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2004), New York City.Google Scholar
  79. Yarrow, F., & Topping, K. (2001). Collaborative writing: The effects of metacognitive prompting and structured peer interaction. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 71, 261–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Instructional TechnologyUtah State University, LoganUSA
  2. 2.Center for Research on Engaging Advanced Technology for Education (CREATE)USA
  3. 3.Department of Educational Psychology and Learning SystemsFlorida State UniversityUSA
  4. 4.Center for Research of Innovative Technologies for Learning (RITL)USA

Personalised recommendations