part of the MSc in E-learning at the University of Edinburgh

Lifestream Reflections Week 8

droughtDrought has hit my life stream! For a number of reasons including wanting to take time out to read and hitting a really busy patch at work my life stream activity has dwindled. In a sense the source hopping, skim reading modes of thought associated with collecting for my life stream conflict with the frame of mind needed for digesting readings. I have felt the need to move away form the computer to reduce distractions and help me focus. After a period of individual investigation in the form of the virtual ethnographies I also felt more distant from the course and my energy and enthusiasm took a dip. What can the virtual environment offer to ameliorate these arguably inevitable troughs? Perhaps future learning environments might assign all participants an ‘bot’ that would calculate/sense a reduced participation and offer words of personalised encouragement! A simple but timely ‘keep going’ may be all that is needed to boost motivation. Having carried out a brief search it seems the technical term for this type of ‘bot’ is ‘pedagogical agent’. It transpires that this is an area of artificial intelligence research for example see Baylor & Kim (2005) who identify three roles of pedagogic agent; expert, motivator and mentor.

In week 8 I was clearly in need of agent Motivator! However I wonder to what extent I would be able to suspend my disbelief and accept my pedagogic agent as part of my cyborg self?

Baylor, A. & Kim, Y. (2005) Simulating instructional roles through pedagogical agents. International journal of artificial intelligence in education. 15 (2)

Posted by Geraldine May Jones on December 10th, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

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