Engaging children in math education using a socially interactive humanoid robot
Howard, Ayanna M.
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Studies have shown that teaching processes, which incorporate robotic-based engagement methods, can approach the effectiveness of human tutors. Not only have these socially engaging robots been used in education, but also as weightloss coaches, play partners, and companions. As such, in this paper we investigate the process of embedding social interaction within a humanoid-student learning scenario in order to reengage children during high-demand cognitive tasks.We discuss the overall system approach and the forms of multi-modal verbal and nonverbal (i.e. gestural) cues used by the robotic agent. Results derived from 20 children, age 13 through 18, engaging with the robot during a tablet-based algebra exam show that, while various forms of social interaction increase test performance, combinations of verbal cues result in a slightly better outcome with respect to test completion time.