Baylor, A. L. & Ryu, J. (2003). The effects of image and animation in enhancing pedagogical agent persona. Journal of Educational Computing Research , 28(4), 373-395.
Publication year: 2003

The purpose of this experimental study was to test the role of image and animation on learners’ perceptions of agent persona characteristics (person-like, engaging, credible, instructor-like), agent value, and performance. The primary analysis consisted of two contrast comparisons: 1) comparing the presence/absence of agent image, and 2) comparing static versus animated agent images. In the study, seventy-five pre-service teachers developed an instructional plan for a case study within the MIMIC (Multiple Intelligent Mentors Instructing Collaboratively) agent-based environment. Overall, animation was found to be beneficial for all four persona characteristics, but not always as the single best implementation. For the agent to be perceived as instructor-like a strong effect was found for the presence of agent animation. Agent credibility was facilitated by either a static or animated image, with the presence of an image being critical. Perceptions of the agent as engaging and person-like were also improved by animation, although person-like was just as improved by no image. Results are discussed in terms of implementing anthropomorphic pedagogical agents to support computer-based instruction.