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Virtual Peers Help Increase Learner Self-Efficacy

, , Utah State University, United States

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Orlando, FL USA ISBN 978-1-880094-60-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


It is well-documented that advanced technology can scaffold learning and cognitive development and also that human-peer models in classrooms positively influence learner motivation, in particular, self-efficacy in specific tasks. This paper describes three exploratory studies that investigated the potential of virtual peers (VP, animated digital characters designed as peer-like) to scaffold college students' motivation towards lesson-planning tasks. The studies examined how differing characteristics of the VPs motivated learners, as measured by learners' task-related self-efficacy beliefs and learner interest in the task and in working with the VPs. Study 1 examined the competency and interaction type of a VP; Study 2 examined the gender and emotional expression of VPs; and Study 3 examined the gender and emotional response of VPs. Results indicated the close relationships between learner motivation and VP characteristics. These findings support for the instructional utility of the virtual peers as motivational scaffolds.


Kim, Y. & Wei, Q. (2006). Virtual Peers Help Increase Learner Self-Efficacy. In E. Pearson & P. Bohman (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2006--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 2033-2039). Orlando, FL USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 9, 2021 from .



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