Applying behavioral strategies for student engagement using a robotic educational agent
Howard, Ayanna M.
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Adaptive learning is an educational method that utilizes computers as an interactive teaching device. Intelligent tutoring systems, or educational agents, use adaptive learning techniques to adapt to each student’s needs and learning styles in order to individualize learning. Effective educational agents should accomplish two essential goals during the learning process – 1) monitor engagement of the student during the interaction and 2) apply behavioral strategies to maintain the student’s attention when engagement decreases. This paper focuses on the second objective of reengaging students using various behavioral strategies through the utilization of a robotic educational agent. Details are provided on the overall system approach and the forms of verbal and nonverbal cues used by the robotic agent. Results derived from 24 students engaging with the robot during a computer-based math test show that, while various forms of behavioral strategies increase test performance, combinations of verbal cues result in a slightly better outcome.