How RU? Finding Out When to Help Students

  • Hedieh Ranjbartabar
  • Deborah RichardsEmail author
  • Cat Kutay
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes on Data Engineering and Communications Technologies book series (LNDECT, volume 13)


Understanding how students are feeling can assist Animated Pedagogical Agent (APAs) to provide helpful tailored support. However, eliciting their emotions is difficult. The research examined student’s willingness to disclose their emotional feelings to the APA and whether being asked was disruptive or annoying. Nineteen high school students used a Virtual World (VW) designed to learn scientific inquiry skills. Emulating human behavior, the APA greets students by asking “how are you?” and provides an empathic response. However, students could ignore the empathic conversation and move on to a task-focused conversation. We found that students were willing to disclose both negative and positive emotions to APAs, on average once in every ten times they were asked. Furthermore, students preferred to reveal their emotions when they first met a character rather than in the subsequent meetings and negative feelings became stronger than positive feelings in repeated encounters.


Animated pedagogical agent Virtual worlds Emotions 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hedieh Ranjbartabar
    • 1
  • Deborah Richards
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cat Kutay
    • 2
  1. 1.Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.University of TechnologySydneyAustralia

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