Skip to main content

Let’s Learn Biodiversity with a Virtual “Robot”?

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNAI,volume 12483)

Abstract

As climate change and biodiversity loss are threatening the natural world’s equilibrium and survival, people’s concerns about these topics have increased significantly. The work presented in this paper lies at the cross-section between the areas of education, biodiversity and technologies. More specifically, this project builds on research in virtual agents in educational settings to promote young children’s engagement with a biodiversity curriculum. In this context, we conducted an observational study with 105 primary school’s children with the goal of evaluating the effectiveness of a virtual robotic agent (presented through a multimedia application), in providing an effective and engaging learning experience about local biodiversity to children. Our results suggested that a) older children (8 to 10 years) knowledge about certain animals and plants from their local biodiversity is well matured; b) younger children (6 to 7 years) present more faithful conceptualisations about nature-related scenarios compared to older children and c) both young and older children exhibited a preference for nature-related scenarios when compared to human-made ones. Our findings provide useful information in favour of the usefulness of implementing user-adaptive learning systems, by considering factors like the children’s previous level of knowledge. Besides, this personalised and interactive type of system might provide an essential advantage in learning scenarios, compared to “static” systems, in enhancing children’s learning outcomes.

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Virtual robot
  • Learning

We would like to thank the Agência Regional para o Desenvolvimento e Tecnologia (ARDITI) - M1420-09-5369-000001 and Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT): PD/BD/150286/2019 and PD/BD/150570/2020, for PhD grants to first, second and third authors respectively. This work was also supported by FCT - UIDB/50021/2020 and the project AMIGOS: PTDC/EEISII/7174/2014. The authors would also like to acknowledge to António F. Aguiar, the team from Funchal Natural History Museum for all the help with the biodiversity information and to the school EB1/PE from Santa Cruz - Madeira island for their participation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-62056-1_17
  • Chapter length: 13 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-62056-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3.

Notes

  1. 1.

    Pepper robot from SoftBank, available in https://www.softbank.jp/robot/pepper/. Accessed: Jan-15-20.

  2. 2.

    RT-Voice PRO available https://www.crosstales.com. Accessed: Jan-15-20.

  3. 3.

    Mixamo platform for the animation of 3D characters available at https://www.mixamo.com/. Accessed: Jan-15-20.

  4. 4.

    GBIF—the Global Biodiversity Information Facility—is an international network and research infrastructure funded by the world’s governments and aimed at providing anyone, anywhere, open access to data about all types of life on Earth.” available at http://www.gbif.pt/?language=en. Accessed: Jan-15-20.

  5. 5.

    All the data regarding the storytelling activity is outside of the scope of this paper.

References

  1. Anning, A., Ring, K.: Making Sense of Children’s Drawings. Open University Press, Maidenhead (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Biscoito, M., Zino, F.: Aves do Arquipélago da Madeira. Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais - Direção Regional do Ambiente, biodiversidade madeirense: avaliação e conservação edn (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  3. Borges, P.A.V., et al.: Listagem dos fungos, flora e fauna terrestres dos arquipélagos da Madeira e Selvagens = A list of the terrestrial fungi, flora and fauna of Madeira and Selvagens archipelagos. Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais do Governo Regional da Madeira (2008). https://repositorio.uac.pt/handle/10400.3/1955

  4. Briot, J.P., et al.: A serious game and artificial agents to support intercultural participatory management of protected areas for biodiversity conservation and social inclusion. In: 2011 Second International Conference on Culture and Computing, pp. 15–20. IEEE (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  5. Chandra, S., Dillenbourg, P., Paiva, A.: Classification of children’s handwriting errors for the design of an educational co-writer robotic peer. In: Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Interaction Design and Children - IDC 2017, pp. 215–225. ACM Press, New York (2017). https://doi.org/10.1145/3078072.3079750. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=3078072.3079750

  6. Duerden, M.D., Witt, P.A.: The impact of direct and indirect experiences on the development of environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. J. Environ. Psychol. 30(4), 379–392 (2010)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  7. Ferreira, M.J., Oliveira, R.A.: Let’s learn biodiversity with a virtual robot? August 2020. osf.io/9vk76

  8. Ferreira, M.J., Nisi, V., Melo, F., Paiva, A.: Learning and teaching biodiversity through a storyteller robot. In: Nunes, N., Oakley, I., Nisi, V. (eds.) ICIDS 2017. LNCS, vol. 10690, pp. 367–371. Springer, Cham (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-71027-3_45

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  9. Hecke, T.V.: Power study of anova versus Kruskal-Wallis test. J. Stat. Manag. Syst. 15(2–3), 241–247 (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Hood, D., Lemaignan, S., Dillenbourg, P.: The cowriter project: teaching a robot how to write. In: Proceedings of the Tenth Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction Extended Abstracts, pp. 269–269. ACM (2015)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Kasanda, C., Lubben, F., Gaoseb, N., Kandjeo-Marenga, U., Kapenda, H., Campbell, B.: The role of everyday contexts in learner-centred teaching: the practice in Namibian secondary schools. Int. J. Sci. Educ. 27(15), 1805–1823 (2005)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  12. Le Denmat, P., Gargot, T., Chetouani, M., Archambault, D., Cohen, D., Anzalone, S.M.: The CoWriter robot: improving attention in a learning-by-teaching setup. In: AIRO@ AI*IA, pp. 51–55 (2018)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Leicht, A., Heiss, J., Byun, W.J.: Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development, vol. 5. UNESCO Publishing, Paris (2018)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Loureiro, P., Prandi, C., Nunes, N., Nisi, V.: Citizen science and game with a purpose to foster biodiversity awareness and bioacoustic data validation. In: Brooks, A.L., Brooks, E., Sylla, C. (eds.) ArtsIT/DLI -2018. LNICST, vol. 265, pp. 245–255. Springer, Cham (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-06134-0_29

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  15. Mathevet, R., et al.: BUTORSTAR: a role-playing game for collective awareness of wise reedbed use. Simul. Gaming 38(2), 233–262 (2007)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  16. Mehlmann, G., Häring, M., Bühling, R., Wißner, M., André, E.: Multiple agent roles in an adaptive virtual classroom environment. In: Allbeck, J., Badler, N., Bickmore, T., Pelachaud, C., Safonova, A. (eds.) IVA 2010. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 6356, pp. 250–256. Springer, Heidelberg (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-15892-6_26

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  17. Mena, B., José, M., Alarcón, R., Arnau Gras, J., Bono Cabré, R., Bendayan, R.: Non-normal data: is ANOVA still a valid option? Psicothema 29(4), 552–557 (2017)

    Google Scholar 

  18. Myers, N., Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., Da Fonseca, G.A., Kent, J.: Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403(6772), 853 (2000)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  19. Piaget, J.: Piaget’s theory. In: Inhelder, B., Chipman, H.H., Zwingmann, C. (eds.) Piaget and His School. SSE, pp. 11–23. Springer, Heidelberg (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-46323-5_2

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  20. Read, J., Macfarlane, S., Casey, C.: Endurability, engagement and expectations: measuring children’s fun. In: Interaction Design and Children, pp. 1–23. Shaker Publishing, Eindhoven (2002). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228870976

  21. Saito, C.H.: Environmental education and biodiversity concern: beyond the ecological literacy. Am. J. Agric. Biol. Sci. 8(1), 12 (2013)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  22. Sébastien, D., Conruyt, N., Courdier, R., Tanzi, T.: Generating virtual worlds from biodiversity information systems: requirements, general process and typology of the metaverse’s models. In: 2009 Fourth International Conference on Internet and Web Applications and Services, pp. 549–554. IEEE (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  23. Sjödén, B., Lind, M., Silvervarg, A.: Can a teachable agent influence how students respond to competition in an educational game? In: André, E., Baker, R., Hu, X., Rodrigo, M.M.T., du Boulay, B. (eds.) AIED 2017. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 10331, pp. 347–358. Springer, Cham (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-61425-0_29

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  24. Teixeira, D., Abreu, C.: Moluscos Terrestres da Ponta de São Lourenço e Ilhéus Adjacentes. Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais - Direção Regional do Ambiente, biodiversidade madeirense: avaliação e conservação edn (2003). http://tiny.cc/MoluscosBook

  25. Vane-Wright, R., Coppock, J.: Planetary awareness, worldviews and the conservation of biodiversity. In: The Coming Transformation. Values to Sustain Human and Natural Communities, pp. 353–382. Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, New Haven (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  26. Vasconcelos, E., et al.: A serious game for exploring and training in participatory management of national parks for biodiversity conservation: design and experience. In: 2009 VIII Brazilian Symposium on Games and Digital Entertainment, pp. 93–100. IEEE (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  27. Yadollahi, E., Johal, W., Paiva, A., Dillenbourg, P.: When deictic gestures in a robot can harm child-robot collaboration. In: IDC 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM Conference on Interaction Design and Children, pp. 195–206. Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., June 2018. https://doi.org/10.1145/3202185.3202743

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Maria José Ferreira .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Ferreira, M.J., Oliveira, R., Olim, S.C., Nisi, V., Paiva, A. (2020). Let’s Learn Biodiversity with a Virtual “Robot”?. In: , et al. Social Robotics. ICSR 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12483. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-62056-1_17

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-62056-1_17

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-62055-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-62056-1

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)