Tech Research Brief: Using Embedded Agents to Support Student Learning

Center for Technology Implementation

Agents and tutors are the lifelike characters in multimedia software and online applications that pop up on the screen to explain rules, provide hints, or prompt the user to use the program’s features. These characters can be human or nonhuman, animated or static. You may have encountered agents when using Microsoft Office (in the form of the “Microsoft Paperclip”) or when shopping online. Some businesses, such as Ikea, have developed agents with a degree of artificial intelligence to help shoppers find the information and answers they are looking for without having to call customer service.

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