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dc.contributor.authorHeller, Bob
dc.contributor.authorProcter, Mike
dc.description.abstractAnimated Pedagogical Agents (APAs) can be defined as animated computer-generated characters that respond to user input, adapt to user behaviour, and facilitate learning in a computer based learning environment. The benefits of APAs that are relevant to distance education include improved communication and increased student motivation/engagement with course content. Yet, the literature on these benefits is equivocal possibly due to the limited range and degree of application. Immersive worlds or virtual environments (VE) can be defined as a computer-created scene or “world” within which a user can immerse themselves as an avatar and interact with other users/avatars and in-world objects. Second Life is perhaps the best known VE with an active in-world education group consisting of approximately 6000 educators from across the world. In this presentation, I will review the relevant findings from each of these worlds and describe one type of APA, an actor agent, that may be particularly useful for distance educators when equipped with conversational abilities and a “stage” such as Second Life on which to perform. To illustrate this approach, I will conclude with a description of a research collaboration to create a patient avatar in Second Life for medical students to practice clinical interview skillsen
dc.titleAnimated Pedagogical Agents & Immersive Worlds: Two Worlds Collidingen

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