Weekly Bookmarks (6/12/2011)
People like virtual instructors that look, act like them
Learners like avatars with the same gender and ethnicity, but they also like those who give feedback the way they want: comparing against others or comparing against their own past scores. However, learning didn’t always improve based on liking the avatar better.
Although they may seem horribly fake, past research has suggested that we react to them in the same ways we react to a real person: studies have suggested that we tend to be more comfortable when the virtual personality shares our gender and ethnic background, just as we are when we work with living humans. Now, a new study on virtual training instructors extends that to show that people work best with virtual systems that measure progress the same way that they do.