Learning to Overcome Cultural Conflict through Engaging with Intelligent Agents in Synthetic Cultures

Hall, Lynne, Tazzyman, Sarah, Hume, Colette, Endrass, Birgit, Lim, Mei-Yii, Hofstede, GertJan, Paiva, Ana, Andre, Elisabeth, Kappas, Arvid and Aylett, Ruth (2015) Learning to Overcome Cultural Conflict through Engaging with Intelligent Agents in Synthetic Cultures. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Education: Special Issue on Culturally-Aware Educational Technologies, 25 (2). pp. 291-317. ISSN 1560-4292

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Abstract

Providing opportunities for children to engage with intercultural learning has frequently focused on exposure to the ritual, celebrations and festivals of cultures, with the view that such experiences will result in greater acceptance of cultural differences. Intercultural conflict is often avoided, bringing as it does particular pedagogical, ethical and political dilemmas of which cultures we place in conflict in the multicultural classroom. In this paper we discuss an alternative approach, providing children with an interactive learning experience with synthetic cultures and characters. The agent architecture developed to enable intelligent agents to exhibit culturally appropriate affect and behaviours is outlined. MIXER, an experiential learning application developed for 9-11 year old children on intercultural conflict is described, highlighting the learning goals and approaches. A school-based evaluation of MIXER with 144 UK children is presented. Children demonstrated high levels of comprehension, engagement and enjoyment of MIXER, with MIXER contributing to near and far transfer, supporting children’s cognitive, emotional and behavioural learning and stimulating discussion and debate about how to resolve conflict.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Computing > Artificial Intelligence
Computing > Human-Computer Interaction
Education > Learning Technology
Divisions: Faculty of Applied Sciences > Department of Computing Engineering and Technology
Digital Innovation Beacon
Depositing User: Lynne Hall
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2015 15:47
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2017 15:25
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/5635

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