Agent Gender And Frequency Dimension Used In Voicing, And Use Of Pedagogical Interface Agents

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Tonbuloğlu B., Özdener Dönmez N.

New Trends On Global Educational Conference (GEC), Girne, Cyprus (Kktc), 24 - 26 September 2012, pp.238

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Girne
  • Country: Cyprus (Kktc)
  • Page Numbers: pp.238
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: No


The purpose of this study is to investigate effects of use of voice in interface agents included in educational software on students’ agent preferences and learning levels. In this context, it was investigated to see whether there are any relations between student gender and the preferred agent gender; students’ preference among agents with voices in different frequencies; and effects of the voicing technique on students’ achievements. The post-test experimental model was used in the study and the study group consisted of 112 primary education students. Data collection tools of the study included pre-knowledge test; four educational software packages, in which agents having different voices and genders were used, and an achievement test. The pre-knowledge test was used to determine the preknowledge of students in the study group about the subjects covered by the educational software. Four educational software packages were developed by the researchers, and during the voicing process, the voice frequencies and agent genders were changed (male agent with low-pitched voice, female agent with high-pitched voice, and female agent with low-pitched voice and male agent with high-pitched voice) to determine students’ agent preferences, and the effects of the software on students’ achievements. The achievement test was used to make comparisons between the groups at the end of the application. During the application stage, each student used one computer, and was asked to choose the agent he/she liked the most from among those whose pictures and voices were introduced, and to use the software in their studies, in which the chosen agent was used. During the application that lasted 3 weeks, after listening to the contents of the educational software covering different subjects each week, students were subjected to a multiple-choice achievement test consisting of remembering and comprehension questions relating to the subject studied during respective week. Because it was desired to investigate students’ levels of achievement in line with their choices, they were not allowed to replace the agent they already chose, and the same agent was used. Multi-factor ANOVA and ANCOVA tests were used in analysis of data. According to the findings of the study, 92% of female students preferred a female agent, while 72% of male students preferred a male agent, and it was observed that, low-pitched voice was chosen less compared to high-pitched voice. 76,5% of female students and 62% of male students chose low-pitched voice for male agents, and high-pitched voice for female agents. It was seen that the frequency used in voicing the pedagogical interface agents of the software did not have any significant effects on students’ learning levels, and it was observed that students tend to choose the agents of their own gender, and that they prefer low-pitched voice for male agents and high-pitched voice for female agents.