Are There Benefits of Using Multiple Pedagogical Agents to Support and Foster Self-Regulated Learning in an Intelligent Tutoring System?

Seth A. Martin, Roger Azevedo, Michelle Taub, Nicholas V. Mudrick, Garrett C. Millar, Joseph F. Grafsgaard

This study examined the proportional learning gains attained by 165 college students as they learned about the human circulatory system over two sessions with the intelligent tutoring system, MetaTutor. Results indicated that learners in the prompt and feedback condition, which were afforded the full capabilities of the four pedagogical agents (PAs), attained significantly greater proportional learning gains than learners in the control condition who did not receive the same scaffolding. In addition, we also found that the amount of time spent with each PA produced different types of impacts on the learners, with Sam the Strategizer having the most influence on proportional learning gains. Lastly, results from the revised Agent Persona Inventory (API), administered following the learning session with MetaTutor, revealed key findings regarding learners’ overall retrospective affective reactions towards each individual PA. These results have implications for the design of future PAs capable of offering real-time and adaptive pedagogical instruction within Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs).

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