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The impact and implications of virtual character expressiveness on learning and agent–learner interactions


George Veletsianos, School of Education, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. Email:


The possible benefits of agent expressiveness have been highlighted in previous literature; yet, the issue of verbal expressiveness has been left unexplored. I hypothesize that agent verbal expressiveness may improve the interaction between pedagogical agents and learners, ultimately enhancing learning outcomes. Evidence from a quasi-experimental investigation, indicates that learners who interacted with an expressive agent 1) scored higher on a post-task exam; and 2) rated the agent's ability to interact higher, than learners who interacted with a nonexpressive agent. Qualitative results provided insight into this finding, while indicating the complexity of deploying pedagogical agents in educational settings.