Overhearing Dialogues and Monologues in Virtual Tutoring Sessions: Effects on Questioning and Vicarious Learning

In IJAIED 11 (3): "Part I of the Special Issue on Analysing Educational Dialogue Interaction "

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Abstract

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.