Sara, the Lecturer: Improving Learning in Online Education with a Scaffolding-Based Conversational Agent

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract

Enrollment in online courses has sharply increased in higher education. Although online education can be scaled to large audiences, the lack of interaction between educators and learners is difficult to replace and remains a primary chal-lenge in the field. Conversational agents may alleviate this problem by engaging in natural interaction and by scaffold-ing learners’ understanding similarly to educators. However, whether this approach can also be used to enrich online video lectures has largely remained unknown. We developed Sara, a conversational agent that appears during an online video lecture. She provides scaffolds by voice and text when needed and includes a voice-based input mode. An evalua-tion with 182 learners in a 2 x 2 lab experiment demonstrated that Sara, compared to more traditional conversational agents, significantly improved learning in a programming task. This study highlights the importance of including scaf-folding and voice-based conversational agents in online videos to improve meaningful learning.

Authors Winkler, Rainer; Hobert, Sebastian; Salovaara, Antti; Söllner, Matthias & Leimeister, Jan Marco
Journal or Publication Title ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Language English
Subjects information management
education
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SoM - Business Innovation
Refereed Yes
Date 25 April 2020
Publisher ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of Publication Honolulu, Hawai'i
Depositing User MSc Rainer Winkler
Date Deposited 31 Jan 2020 13:49
Last Modified 31 Jan 2020 13:49
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/259193

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Citation

Winkler, Rainer; Hobert, Sebastian; Salovaara, Antti; Söllner, Matthias & Leimeister, Jan Marco (2020) Sara, the Lecturer: Improving Learning in Online Education with a Scaffolding-Based Conversational Agent. ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems,

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/259193
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