An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Using Pedagogical Agents for Teaching in Inclusive Ways
This chapter presents research on the use of pedagogical agents as a tool to support the learning of skills related to the transposition of formulae. Participants from diverse backgrounds were recruited from those being taught on a compulsory mathematics course and allocated to one of three conditions. Each undertook a one-hour training session on mathematical transposition appropriate to their group allocation. The Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST) questionnaire and Technology Acceptance using a questionnaire based on the Technology Acceptance Model Framework (TAM) were administered. Interviews and focus groups were undertaken to explore their experiences. The pedagogical agent provided a positive learning experience that enabled learners to achieve the same levels of attainment as those who undertook human teaching. There is a need to improve techniques for designing and encoding the database of responses to natural language inputs and to make more use of automated strategies for acquiring and constructing databases. However, it is evident that this model of learning can be used to increase access to mathematics learning across sectors and devices. Such agents can be used with diverse learners, enabling them to personalise their learning and thereby improve the possibility for teaching in inclusive ways.
KeywordsAutonomous agent Conversational agents Pedagogical agents Virtual human interaction Voice font
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