Animated Pedagogical Agents: Face-to-Face Interaction in Interactive Learning Environments

In IJAIED 11 (1)

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Abstract. Recent years have witnessed the birth of a new paradigm for learning environments: animated pedagogical agents. These lifelike autonomous characters cohabit learning environments with students to create rich, face-to-face learning interactions. This opens up exciting new possibilities; for example, agents can demonstrate complex tasks, employ locomotion and gesture to focus students' attention on the most salient aspect of the task at hand, and convey emotional responses to the tutorial situation. Animated pedagogical agents offer great promise for broadening the bandwidth of tutorial communication and increasing learning environments' ability to engage and motivate students. This article sets forth the motivations behind animated pedagogical agents, describes the key capabilities they offer, and discusses the technical issues they raise. The discussion is illustrated with descriptions of a number of animated agents that represent the current state of the art.