Skip to main content

Pedagogical Agents

  • Reference work entry
Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

Synonyms

Animated pedagogical agents; Instructional agents; Lifelike characters

Definition

Pedagogical agents are lifelike characters presented on a computer screen that guide users through multimedia learning environments. They are defined in relation to the context of their employment as “learning partners” or “virtual tutors” in educational software. Therefore, they can be distinguished from other agent applications such as “embodied conversational agents,” “anthropomorph interface agents,” “virtual characters,” or “non-player characters.”

The term “agent” itself does also refer to different meanings that are often conflated (Erickson 1997): (a) the agent-metaphor, presenting a character on the screen; and (b) adaptive functionalities, aspects of artificial intelligence that are implemented in software applications that are not necessarily visible on the screen (e.g., intelligence, adaptively, responsiveness). While both meanings come into play when intelligent agents are presented...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 3,400.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD 2,999.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

References

  • Atkinson, R. K. (2002). Optimizing learning from examples using animated pedagogical agents. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 416–427.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Atkinson, R. K., Mayer, R. E., & Merril, M. M. (2005). Fostering social agency in multimedia learning: Examining the impact of an agent’s voice. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 30, 117–139.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baylor, A. L., & Ryu, J. (2003). The effects of image and animation in enhancing pedagogical agent persona. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 28(4), 373–395.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clarebout, G., & Elen, J. (2006). Open learning environments and the impact of pedagogical agents. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 35, 211–226.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clarebout, G., Elen, J., Johnson, L., & Shawn, E. (2002). Animated pedagogical agents: An opportunity to be grasped? Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 11(3), 267–286.

    Google Scholar 

  • Domagk, S. (2010). Do pedagogical agents facilitate learner motivation and learning outcomes? The role of the appeal of agent’s appearance and voice. Journal of Media Psychology, 22(2), 82–95.

    Google Scholar 

  • Erickson, T. (1997). Designing agents as if people mattered. In J. M. Bradshaw (Ed.), Software agents (pp. 79–96). Menlo Park: AAAI/MIT.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heidig, S., & Clarebout, G. (2011). Do pedagogical agents make a difference to student motivation and learning? Educational Research Review, 6(1), 27–54.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kim, Y., Baylor, A. L., & Shen, E. (2007). Pedagogical agents as learning companions: the impact of agent emotion and gender. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 23, 220–234.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lester, J. C., Converse, S. A., Kahler, S. E., Barlow, S. T., Stone, B. A., & Bhogal, R. S. (1997). The persona effect: Affective impact of animated pedagogical agents. In CHI ’97: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 359–366). New York: ACM.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Mayer, R. E. (2005). Principles of multimedia learning based on social cues: Personalization, voice, and image principles. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (pp. 201–214). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moreno, R. (2004). Decreasing cognitive load for novice students: Effects of explanatory versus corrective feedback in discovery-based multimedia. Instructional Science, 32, 99–113.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Moreno, R. (2005). Multimedia learning with animated pedagogical agents. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (pp. 507–524). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2002). Learning science in virtual reality multimedia learning environments: Role of method and media. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(3), 598–610.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2005). Role of guidance, reflection, and interactivity in an agent-based multimedia game. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97(1), 117–128.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Geraldine Clarebout .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

About this entry

Cite this entry

Clarebout, G., Heidig (née Domagk), S. (2012). Pedagogical Agents. In: Seel, N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_942

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_942

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4419-1427-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4419-1428-6

  • eBook Packages: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law

Publish with us

Policies and ethics