Affective Agents in E-Learning Platforms

Affective Agents in E-Learning Platforms

Christos N. Moridis (University of Macedonia, Greece) and Anastasios A. Economides (University of Macedonia, Greece)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0315-8.ch099


During recent decades there has been an extensive progress towards several Artificial Intelligence (AI) concepts, such as that of intelligent agent. Meanwhile, it has been established that emotions play a crucial role concerning human reasoning and learning. Thus, developing an intelligent agent able to recognize and express emotions has been considered an enormous challenge for AI researchers. Embedding a computational model of emotions in intelligent agents can be beneficial in a variety of domains, including e-learning applications. However, until recently emotional aspects of human learning were not taken into account when designing e-learning platforms. Various issues arise when considering the development of affective agents in e-learning environments, such as issues relating to agents’ appearance, as well as ways for those agents to recognize learners’ emotions and express emotional support. Embodied conversational agents (ECAs) with empathetic behaviour have been suggested to be one effective way for those agents to provide emotional feedback to learners’ emotions. There has been some valuable research towards this direction, but a lot of work still needs to be done to advance scientific knowledge.
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Overview: Affective Agents In E-Learning

Faced with frustration, despair, worry, sadness, or shame, people lose access to their own memory, reasoning, and the capacity to make connections (Goleman, 1995). In many cases students’ intellectual energies and capacities are weakened by negative emotional states. Integrating affective agents into e-learning platforms who will be able to recognize learners’ emotion and provide adequate emotional support, could significantly enhance learning. In order to do so, it is fundamental to create a research basis about affective agents’ emotion recognition and emotional expression, and acquire benefit from the knowledge concerning emotional agents’ psychological effects.

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