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Adding Challenge to a Teachable Agent in a Virtual Learning Environment
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Human-Centered systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköpings Universitet. (Educational Technology Group)
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The topic of this thesis concerns what happens when challenging behavior is added to a teachable agent in a virtual learning environment. The aim of adding challenging behavior to teachable agents is to encourage students to engage in learning behaviors, improve their motivation and engagement, which may result in a deeper level of comprehension and an improved learning experience. We conducted an explorative user study, using Guardian of History, a teachable agent learning environment in history. We analyzed data from 146 students, 11-12 years old, from a Swedish school. The students were assigned to two different agent conditions: traditional teachable agent (TA) or a challenging TA (CTA). The conditions were also balanced with respect to the students’ level of self-efficacy. The CTA exhibited the following challenging behaviors: 1) introduction of error, 2) rejection of correct facts, and 3) proposal of a higher level of difficulty. Students who used the challenging TA and also had a high level of self-efficacy performed better in the CTA condition and students with a low level of self-efficacy reached better academic achievement in the traditional TA condition. Students did not experience the learning-by-teaching effects different by the introduced challenging TA behaviors. Students within the CTA condition got better at responding to challenging TA behavior, than students in the TA condition. The CTA behavior “rejection of correct facts” was better received than the “rejection of correct”, this suggests that a challenging TA may benefit to a larger degree by questioning rather than by introducing errors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. , 73 p.
FiF-avhandling - Filosofiska fakulteten – Linköpings universitet, ISSN 1401-4637 ; 118
Keyword [en]
educational technology, educational software, teachable agents, learning
National Category
Learning Pedagogical Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-126940ISBN: 978-91-7685-760-1 (Print)OAI: diva2:917911
2016-06-03, Alan Turing, E-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2016-05-03 Created: 2016-04-08 Last updated: 2016-05-13Bibliographically approved

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