LEARNING WITH AGENTS AND TEXT: THE ROLE OF REDUNDANCY AND ANIMATED PEDAGOGICAL AGENTS IN MULTIMEDIA LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
 
Craig, S.D., Driscoll, D. and Gholson, B., University of Memphis, USA
 
Environments has significantly increased in recent years. An animated pedagogical agent is a computerized character (either humanlike or otherwise) designed to facilitate learning (Craig, et al, 2002). However, while implementation has increased, the impact of these agents has not been fully studied. One of the major current limitations of APAs is the comprehensibility of the voice. A common way of compensating for this problem is by displaying the agents spoken output in a text format as well as spoken. However, the redundancy effect from the multimedia literature would seem to warn again the effectiveness of this method. The redundancy effect refers to decrements in performance that sometimes result from providing redundant information that is not necessary for comprehension. We explored variations in printed text only, spoken narration that exactly duplicated the printed text, and spoken narration combined with the printed text, in a multimedia environment that included an agent, to investigate effects of redundancy. The spoken-narration-only condition outperformed the other two, with no differences between printed text only and printed text combined with spoken narration. From this data, it would seem that the redundancy effect holds with APAs and that printed textual information should be avoided.