Animated pedagogical agents: do they advance student motivation and learning in an inquiry learning environment?

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Van der Meij, H. and Meij, J. van der and Harmsen, R. (2012) Animated pedagogical agents: do they advance student motivation and learning in an inquiry learning environment? [Report]

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Abstract:Student behavior in inquiry learning environments has often been found to be in need of
(meta)cognitive support. Two pilots revealed that students might also benefit from
motivational support in such an environment. An experiment with 61 junior high school
students (ages 14-16) compared three conditions related to motivational support: a motivating
agent (female image and voice), the agent's voice only, or no support. The support provided
addressed two vital components of motivation: task-relevance and self-efficacy belief. The
learning environment covered a topic in physics, a domain for which a gender difference in
self-efficacy has frequently been reported. The effects of both gender and condition were
investigated. Overall, students showed gains in self-efficacy belief, perceptions of taskrelevance,
and learning. Effects related to gender and condition included the finding that: (1)
when the task was more difficult, the self-efficacy belief of the girls tended to increase for the
Agent and Voice condition while staying equal in the Control condition, whereas that of the
boys increased in the Control condition but decreased for the Agent and Voice condition, and
(2) girls tended to learn more in the Agent and Voice condition while boys did better in the
Control condition. The discussion addresses the question of how to create an agent that fulfills
basic requirements of credibility (external properties) and task-specific support (internal
properties).
Item Type:Report
Faculty:
Behavioural Sciences (BS)
Research Group:
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/79575
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