A virtual peer can enhance learner self-efficacy

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

The Annual Conference of American Educational Research Association (AERA)

Publication Date



It is well documented that human peer models positively influence a learners perceived self-efficacy beliefs in specific tasks. This paper describes three experimental studies of the potential of computerized virtual peers to enhance college students self-efficacy beliefs in lesson-planning tasks. The studies examined the effects of differing characteristics of the virtual peers. Results indicate that both low competency and high empathetic responses of virtual peers significantly influence learners perceptions of their task-related self-efficacy. These findings suggest a potential instructional utility of the virtual peers as social models.

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