Supporting Low-Performing Students by Manipulating Self-efficacy in Digital Tutees

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Educational software based on teachable agents has repeatedly proven to have positive effects on students’ learning outcomes. The strongest effects have been shown for low-performers. A number of mechanisms have been proposed to explore this outcome, in particular mechanisms that involve attributions of social agency to teachable agents. Our study examined whether an expression of high versus low self-efficacy in a teachable agent would affect low-performing students with respect to their learning outcomes and with respect to a potential change in their own self-efficacy. The learning domain was mathematics, specifically the base-ten system. Results were that the learning outcomes of low-performers who taught a low self-efficacy agent were significantly better than the learning outcomes of low-performers who taught a high self-efficacy agent. There were no effects from the manipulation of self-efficacy expressed by the teachable agent on changes of the low-performing students’ own self-efficacy.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pedagogical Work
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
EditorsGlenn Gunzelmann, Andrew Howes, Thora Tenbrink, Eddy Davelaar
Place of PublicationAustin TX
PublisherCognitive Science Society
ISBN (Electronic)978- 0-9911967-6- 0
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch
EventCogSci 2017: 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 2017 Jul 262017 Jul 29
Conference number: 39


ConferenceCogSci 2017
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address