"Oh dear stacy!": social interaction, elaboration, and learning with teachable agents

  • Ogan A
  • Finkelstein S
  • Mayfield E
 et al. 
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Understanding how children perceive and interact with teachable agents (systems where children learn through teaching a synthetic character embedded in an intelligent tutoring system) can provide insight into the effects of so-cial interaction on learning with intelligent tutoring systems. We describe results from a think-aloud study where children were instructed to narrate their experience teaching Stacy, an agent who can learn to solve linear equations with the student's help. We found treating her as a partner, primarily through aligning oneself with Stacy using pronouns like you or we rather than she or it significantly correlates with student learning, as do playful face-threatening comments such as teasing, while elaborate explanations of Stacy's behavior in the third-person and formal tutoring statements reduce learning gains. Additionally, we found that the agent's mistakes were a significant predictor for students shifting away from alignment with the agent.

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  • Amy Ogan

  • Samantha Finkelstein

  • Elijah Mayfield

  • Claudia D'Adamo

  • Noboru Matsuda

  • Justine Cassell

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