The Open Virtual Reality Journal




(Discontinued)

ISSN: 1875-323X ― Volume 3, 2014

Three Different Modes of Avatars as Virtual Lecturers in E-learning Interfaces: A Comparative Usability Study



Marwan Alseid* , Dimitrios Rigas
Department of Software Engineering, Faculty of Information Technology, Applied Science University, Amman, Jordan

Abstract

Most of recent e-learning applications are predominantly based on textual and graphical metaphors to communicate the learning material in its user interfaces. Previous research demonstrated that incorporating both visual and auditory sensory channels in the interaction with e-learning interfaces could enhance the usability and users’ learning performance. Also, the presence of humanoid virtual lecturers in e-learning interfaces was found to be attractive for e-learners. This paper describes an empirical evaluation of three different modes for the employment of speaking avatars as virtual pedagogical agents in a multimodal-based e-learning. This study aimed at comparing the usability aspects (efficiency, effectiveness and user satisfaction) as well as learning performance of three different e-learning platforms recruited to present three common lessons about class diagram notation. The first platform involved talking head of facially expressive avatar while the second platform used a full-body animated one. However, the third tested e-learning platform was based on talking heads of tow facially expressive virtual lectures; male and female who shared the presentation of the learning material. In total, 48 users participated in the experiment to test the three platforms in a within-subject design. Results of the experiment showed that the inclusion of speaking virtual lecturer with full body gestures was the most efficient in terms of question answering time, most effective in terms of correctly answered questions, and the most satisfactory as opposed to the other tow investigated e-learning platforms. Experimental results also revealed that using facially expressive avatars either singularly or coupled with female one scored similar levels of usability and learning performance

Keywords: Usability, Avatars, E-learning, multimodal interaction.


Article Information


Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2010
Volume: 2
First Page: 8
Last Page: 17
Publisher Id: TOVRJ-2-8
DOI: 10.2174/1875323X01002010008

Article History:

Received Date: 10/4/2010
Revision Received Date: 14/5/2010
Acceptance Date: 24/5/2010
Electronic publication date: 3 /9/2010
Collection year: 2010

© Alseid and Rigas; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.


* Addres correspondence to this author at the Department of Software Engineering, Faculty of Information Technology, Applied Science University, Amman 11931, P.O.Box 926296 Jordan; Tel: 00962 6 5609999; Ext: 1053; E-mail: mnks1967@yahoo.com



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