The Use of CPAs

            I think the use of CPAs was not a good technique to use for students in the secondary school age and younger.  I don't think they were mature enough to handle it.  At the same time, I don't think it can be a success.  Honestly, I have never had such an experience, but from the articles I already doubt it.

            One of the articles stated that participants didn't change their chat discourse even when the CPAs were presented as an authority figure.  Instead they saw the agent as a peer.  The desire of being able to alter the CPA in ways the student wants could also be controversial.  The reason for this can be that, students may  have less respect for the purposes of the agent and instead see it more like a game.  On the other hand student may want to interact more often with the agent because they were able to create it somehow.  These predicaments do need more experimenting, because we don't know exactly what the probability of each can be. 

In both articles, off task behavior occurred more often than on task behaviors.  This meant that the purposes of the CPA wasn't very successful.  I don't think computer robots can live up to the expectations of human beings.  This negates the use of CPAs has a helpful tool to assist students. 

With middle school students, I think the use of CPAs does not encourage students to do their work.  I think students of this age find the CPAs as more like a game.  This could be a reason to why so much inappropriate behaviors occurred.  Then again, I think the gender of the CPAs does matter.  The middle school students were given a female agent to work with.  Even though she wasn't presented visually in ways that could encourage inappropriate behaviors, it was the fact that she was female that students felt they can be inappropriate with her.  If the agent was male, I think there will be less inappropriate behaviors.  The reason to that is that the male gender is perceived to have more authority automatically.  The female gender would more likely have to establish some kind of authority in order to be seen in that way.  Also, as stated in one of the articles, CPAs were made in a way where they are in a position where they are inferior to students.  In the middle school article, this does not support the authority figure the female agent was given prior to her interactions with the middle school students. 

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This page contains a single entry by Mai Yer published on October 17, 2009 9:33 AM.

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