EXPLORING PEDAGOGICAL AGENT USE WITHIN LEARNER-ATTENUATED SYSTEM-PACED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
MetadataShow full item record
Educational technology is influencing the paradigms of both K-12 and post-secondary education in the United States. While some teachers may still give lectures in a classroom environment, we are now seeing the development and increasing popularity of online schooling. As educators attempt to meet the challenges of teaching with technology, they must choose which educational tools they will employ. Pedagogical agents represent one such tool. Pedagogical agents are on-screen characters which have been found to facilitate learning in some situations. The purpose of this dissertation was to explore pedagogical agents use in a learner-attenuated system-paced (LASP) learning environment. LASP learning environments differ from other types of multimedia learning systems because they allow the user to fast-forward, pause, or rewind, while presenting all of the information in one streaming video rather than numerous segments. The first experiment explored the differences in cognitive and affective outcomes between learning with a low verbal redundancy environment, which provided narration and concurrent on-screen keywords, with a contextually-relevant peer pedagogical agent condition. The second experiment explored the differences between cognitive and affective outcomes when learning with either a male or female pedagogical agent in a LASP learning environment. No significant differences were found in either experiment for any of the cognitive or affective outcomes. The findings indicated that pedagogical agents may be just as effective for learning and fostering a learner's affect as a low verbal redundancy environment. The findings also indicated that a male pedagogical agent is equally effective for both learning and fostering a learner's affect as a female pedagogical agent. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed, as are promising future research directions.