How do learners respond to pedagogical agents that deliver social-oriented non-task messages? Impact on student learning, perceptions, and experiences

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Abstract

In this paper, I investigate the impact of non-task pedagogical agent behavior on learning outcomes, perceptions of agents' interaction ability, and learner experiences. Quasi-experimental results indicate that while the addition of non-task comments to an on-task tutorial may increase learning and perceptions of the agent's ability to interact with learners, this increase is not statistically significant. Further addition of non-task comments however, harms learning and perceptions of the agent's ability to interact with learners in statistically significant ways. Qualitative results reveal that on-task interactions are efficient but impersonal, while non-task interactions were memorable, but distracting. Implications include the potential for non-task interactions to create an uncanny valley effect for agent behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-283
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Human-computer interaction
  • Learner experience
  • Non-task interactions
  • Off-task interactions
  • Pedagogical agents
  • Uncanny valley effect

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