The Role of Learner Attributes and Affect Determining the Impact of Agent Presence

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International Journal of Learning Technology






Inderscience Publishers

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This paper introduces two experimental studies that have examined the efficacy of agent presence in relation to learner attributes and affect. With 132 high school females, Study 1 investigated the effects of learners' prior math attitudes (high vs. low) and prior math self-efficacy (high vs. low) on the changes in their attitudes and self-efficacy after working at a pedagogical agent-based environment. The results indicated that the females with low prior math attitudes significantly increased their math attitudes after working at the environment, whereas the attitudes of females with high prior math attitudes did not significantly change. The same trend was observed for their math self-efficacy. Study 2 investigated the interaction of learner gender, learner sociability (low-sociable vs. high-sociable) and agent presence (present vs. absent) on learners' math attitudes, math self-efficacy and learning with 180 male and female high school students. The results showed that for both male and female students, low-sociable students had significantly more positive math attitudes after working with an agent than without an agent, whereas high-sociable students had significantly more positive math attitudes after working at the learning environment without an agent than with an agent. The same was true for math self-efficacy. The learners significantly increased their learning regardless of the conditions. The implications of the findings are discussed.