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Article of Volume 15, Issue 4, December 2020

Gaze awareness and metacognitive suggestions by a pedagogical conversational agent: an experimental investigation on interventions to support collaborative learning process and performance

Author: Yugo Hayashi

Abstract: Research on collaborative learning has revealed that peer-collaboration explanation activities facilitate reflection and metacognition and that establishing common ground and successful coordination are keys to realizing effective knowledge-sharing in collaborative learning tasks. Studies on computer-supported collaborative learning have investigated how awareness tools can facilitate coordination within a group and how the use of external facilitation scripts can elicit elaborated knowledge during collaboration. However, the separate and joint effects of these tools on the nature of the collaborative process and performance have rarely been investigated. This study investigates how two facilitation methods—coordination support via learner gaze-awareness feedback and metacognitive suggestion provision via a pedagogical conversational agent (PCA)—are able to enhance the learning process and learning gains. Eighty participants, organized into dyads, were enrolled in a 2?×?2 between-subject study. The first and second factors were the presence of real-time gaze feedback (no vs. visible gaze) and that of a suggestion-providing PCA (no vs. visible agent), respectively. Two evaluation methods were used: namely, dialog analysis of the collaborative process and evaluation of learning gains. The real-time gaze feedback and PCA suggestions facilitated the coordination process, while gaze was relatively more effective in improving the learning gains. Learners in the Gaze-feedback condition achieved superior learning gains upon receiving PCA suggestions. A successful coordination/high learning performance correlation was noted solely for learners receiving visible gaze feedback and PCA suggestions simultaneously (visible gaze/visible agent). This finding has the potential to yield improved collaborative processes and learning gains through integration of these two methods as well as contributing towards design principles for collaborative-learning support systems more generally.

Keywords: Collaborative learning, Social awareness, Metacognitive suggestions, Visible gaze feedback, Pedagogical conversational agent

Citation: Hayashi, Y. (2020) Gaze awareness and metacognitive suggestions by a pedagogical conversational agent: an experimental investigation on interventions to support collaborative learning process and performance. ijcscl 15 (4), pp. 4

DOI: 10.1007/s11412-020-09333-3

Preprint: Acrobat-PDF hayashi_15_4.pdf

About this article at link.springer.com [http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11412-020-09333-3] including a link to the official electronic version.