Motivating Children to Learn Arithmetic with an Adaptive Robot Game

  • Joris B. Janssen
  • Chrissy C. van der Wal
  • Mark A. Neerincx
  • Rosemarijn Looije
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7072)


Based on a ‘learning by playing’ concept, a basic arithmetic learning task was extended with an engaging game to achieve long-term educational interaction for children. Personalization was added to this learning task, to further support the child’s motivation and success in learning. In an experiment, twenty children (aged 9-10) interacted three times, spread over days, with a robot using the combined imitation and arithmetic game to test this support. Two versions of the robot were implemented. In one implementation the complexity of the arithmetic progressed towards a predefined group target. In the other version the assignments increased in complexity until a personal end level was reached. A subsequent free-choice period showed that children’s motivation to play (and learn) was high, particularly when the game progressed to a personal target. Furthermore results show that most children in the last condition reach higher levels compared to the predefined group level.


Intrinsic Motivation Social Robot Group Goal Arithmetic Skill Imitation Game 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joris B. Janssen
    • 1
  • Chrissy C. van der Wal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark A. Neerincx
    • 1
    • 3
  • Rosemarijn Looije
    • 1
  1. 1.Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNOSoesterbergGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Sciences - dept. Computer ScienceVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science (EEMCS)Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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