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The role a motivational agent plays : the effects of a co-learner agent and an expert agent

Yu, Y. (2015) The role a motivational agent plays : the effects of a co-learner agent and an expert agent.

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Abstract:Purpose: Expert-like agents and co-learner agents are two kinds of most commonly used pedagogical agents in a computer based learning environment. An experiment is conducted to find out whether there were differences in terms of learners’ performance and their perceived motivation level when they used instructions with agents playing these two roles. Furthermore, participants’ perceptions of the agents are investigated. Method: An experiment was conducted to test the effect of co-learner and expert agent implementation. The dependent variables are users’ perceptions of agents, task performance, motivation level and the user experience of the instructions. 60 Participants were divided randomly into three groups and were requested to perform a same task in Photoshop with a designed instructions containing the different agent. For group 1 and 2, the instructions only contained an expert-like agent or a co-learner agent separately while for group 3 the instructions contained both these two types of agent. Participants were asked to fill out an online questionnaire to indicate their opinions about the instructions after the initial task performance and then were requested to repeat the task without instructions. Results: The results of this study show no differences between the three participant groups in initial and repeated task performance. The results show a difference in motivational level; compared to an expert-like agent, the implementation of a co-leaner agent lead to higher level of satisfaction among users. Furthermore, participants’ perception of an agent differed due to the role they play. An expert-like agent is deemed to be more credible and knowledgeable while a co-learner agent is perceived as being more friendly and attractive. Conclusion: Agent role serves as an important part of agent design that needs to be taken serious consideration since the implementation of different agents proved to have an impact on users.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68371
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