Overhearing Dialogues and Monologues in Virtual Tutoring Sessions: Effects on Questioning and Vicarious Learning
11 (3): "Part I of the Special Issue on Analysing Educational Dialogue Interaction "
This research used vicarious-learning procedures in an attempt to increase students'
knowledge of the domain and enhance the quality of their questions in an intelligent tutoring-
system involving computer-controlled animated agents. Students who overheard a dialogue in
which a virtual tutee asked a virtual tutor questions during acquisition wrote significantly more
in free recall and asked significantly more questions in a transfer task than those who overheard
a monologue. Students in the monologue condition asked significantly more shallow questions
that require short answers than those in the dialogue condition. Students in the dialogue
condition asked significantly more deep-level reasoning questions of the kind that were
modeled by the virtual tutee during acquisition. It was concluded that modeling a brief dialogue
involving question asking at the outset of a first learning session on an intelligent tutor system
could enhance both the structure of the subsequent dialogue and knowledge acquisition.