The Robot Who Tried Too Hard: Social Behaviour of a Robot Tutor Can Negatively Affect Child Learning
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© 2015 ACM. Social robots are finding increasing application in the domain of education, particularly for children, to support and augment learning opportunities. With an implicit assumption that social and adaptive behaviour is desirable, it is therefore of interest to determine precisely how these aspects of behaviour may be exploited in robots to support children in their learning. In this paper, we explore this issue by evaluating the effect of a social robot tutoring strategy with children learning about prime numbers. It is shown that the tutoring strategy itself leads to improvement, but that the presence of a robot employing this strategy amplifies this effect, resulting in significant learning. However, it was also found that children interacting with a robot using social and adaptive behaviours in addition to the teaching strategy did not learn a significant amount. These results indicate that while the presence of a physical robot leads to improved learning, caution is required when applying social behaviour to a robot in a tutoring context.
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