The robot who tried too hard: social behaviour of a robot tutor can negatively affect child learning

Kennedy, James, Baxter, Paul and Belpaeme, Tony (2015) The robot who tried too hard: social behaviour of a robot tutor can negatively affect child learning. In: Proceedings of the Tenth Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 02 - 05 March 2015, Portland, OR, USA.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


Social robots are finding increasing application in the domain of education, particularly for children, to support and augment learning opportunities. With an implicit assumption that social and adaptive behaviour is desirable, it is therefore of interest to determine precisely how these aspects of behaviour may be exploited in robots to support children in their learning. In this paper, we explore this issue by evaluating the effect of a social robot tutoring strategy with children learning about prime numbers. It is shown that the tutoring strategy itself leads to improvement, but that the presence of a robot employing this strategy amplifies this effect, resulting in significant learning. However, it was also found that children interacting with a robot using social and adaptive behaviours in addition to the teaching strategy did not learn a significant amount. These results indicate that while the presence of a physical robot leads to improved learning, caution is required when applying social behaviour to a robot in a tutoring context.

Keywords:human-robot interaction, child-robot interaction, education robotics, robot tutoring
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G700 Artificial Intelligence
G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G440 Human-computer Interaction
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
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ID Code:24856
Deposited On:26 Oct 2016 15:02

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