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Article
The impact of user attributes and user choice in an agent-based environment
Computers & Education (2011)
  • Yanghee Kim, Utah State University
  • Quan Wei
Abstract
This study examined the impact of learners’ attributes (gender and ethnicity) on their choice of a pedagogical agent and the impact of the attributes and choice on their perceptions of agent affability, task-specific attitudes, task-specific self-efficacy, and learning gains. Participants were 210 high-school male and female, Caucasian and Hispanic students who worked at computer-based algebra integrated with pedagogical agents. The results indicated, first, that students preferentially chose a same-gender agent and a same-ethnicity agent, supporting similarity-attraction theory. Second, males who chose an agent showed more positive attitudes toward working at the learning environment than did males who were assigned to an agent whereas females who were assigned to an agent showed more positive attitudes than did females who chose an agent. Third, Hispanic students showed more positive attitudes toward working at the learning environment than Caucasians. Fourth, females perceived the agent as significantly more affable than did males; Hispanics perceived the agent as significantly more affable than did Caucasians. Last, learner attributes and choice did not affect learning in the agent-based environment.
Keywords
  • learner choice,
  • pedagogical agents,
  • virtual peers,
  • digital tutors,
  • embodied conversational agents,
  • human computer interaction,
  • interactive learning environments,
  • agent gender,
  • learner gender,
  • Virtual agents,
  • Agent design,
  • Interaction design,
  • agent choice
Publication Date
February 1, 2011
Citation Information
Kim, Y., & Wei, Q. (2011). The impact of user attributes and user choice in an agent-based environment. Computers & Education, 56 (2), 505-514.