Can “Cooperative” Agents Enhance Learning and User-Interface Relationship in Computer-based Learning Environment?
Unformatted Document Text:
Effects of Cooperative Agent
colearner simply gave its own answers upon being asked by the teacher agent (n= 26).
The third condition, which had the same teacher agent and the user avatar but no co-learner
agent, served as a control condition (n= 26).
Learning assessment. In order to assess participantsâ€™ learning, 11 open-ended
questions were asked on the English idioms that participants learned with the teacher and the
colearner agent upon the completion of the idiom lesson. More specifically, the instruction
was given as: â€śPlease fill in the blanks using the idioms you learned so that the sentences
make sense.â€ť Participants were instructed to fill in the blanks in the given sentences, e.g.,
â€śHow could you believe what he said? He was just ________________â€ť (The correct answer
was â€śpulling your legâ€ť). A preliminary analysis of the fill-in-the-blank responses showed that
2 questions out of the 11 might have seem somewhat confusing to the participants: more than
80% of the participants gave answers totally irrelevant to the idioms they learned. In order to
minimize a noise in the data, the responses to the 2 questions were eliminated, and only the
responses to the remaining 9 idiom questions were analyzed for hypothesis testing.
Each answer to the open-ended questions was assessed on a 5-point scale, which
ranged â€ś0â€ť (left blank or completely irrelevant) to â€ś4â€ť (perfect answer); participants received
partial points depending upon the number of grammatical or spelling-related mistakes they
made; then the score for each item was added up.
Feelings of social support. An index of â€śfeelings of being cooperatedâ€ť was created
based on three items (â€śNot Alone,â€ť â€śPraised,â€ť and â€śSupportedâ€ť). The participant rated how
well the given adjectives described their feelings during their use of the software on a 10-
point Likert scale, respectively. A factor analysis showed that the three items were loaded on