Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Computers in Education
Many colleges face a lack of support for their computer science students. There is not enough faculty to give each student adequate instructional and emotional support. This experience report describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of a solution to this problem: a pedagogical agent named Maria. A pedagogical agent is a human-like interface designed to simulate the relationship between teacher and student. In this way, Maria functions like a virtual teaching assistant, filling the gap left by inadequate human facility. Students can ask Maria natural language questions about computer science and get natural language answers. Maria was designed to: (1) make students want to ask her questions, (2) answer student questions, and (3) provide emotional support to students. Maria's implementation focuses on achieving these goals. To make students want to ask questions, Maria is relatable and easy to access. To make sure Maria was able to answer questions, she was programmed with the answers many common computer science and general knowledge questions. She can also walk students through more complicated issues (like finding the cause of a NullPointerException). Finally, to provide emotional support to students, Maria will give students tips on how to improve their score on programming assignments and will congratulate students when they correctly fix problems with their code. Maria will be evaluated by examining usage and survey data to find out the proportion of students who asked questions, the proportion of students who used Maria multiple times, and whether or not students found Maria helpful.
Finch, D. K., & Edwards, S. H. (2020, June), Using a Pedagogical Agent to Support Students Learning to Program Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35447
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015