Teaching Skills with Virtual Humans

This book highlights current research into virtual tutoring software and presents a case study of the design and application of a social tutor for children with autism. Best practice guidelines for developing software-based educational interventions are discussed, with a major emphasis on facilitating the generalisation of skills to contexts outside of the software itself, and on maintaining these skills over time. Further, the book presents the software solution Thinking Head Whiteboard, which provides a framework for families and educators to create unique educational activities utilising virtual character technology and customised to match learners’ needs and interests. In turn, the book describes the development and evaluation of a social tutor incorporating multiple life-like virtual humans, leading to an exploration of the lessons learned and recommendations for the future development of related technologies.

On the Relevance of Using Virtual Humans for Motor Skills Teaching

The main question of that thesis is on the relevance of using virtual humans to teach complex motor skills. The first study explores the question of the feasibility of learning by imitation of a virtual human by comparing the improvement of the performance on three karate gestures for three groups, namely a traditional class, a video-based group and a virtual reality group. The second study investigates the influence on the learning task of having a self representation in the virtual environment. The participants have a feedback of their movements represented on a mirrored cylindrical gray avatar. The impact of that avatar on the learning task of the participants is assessed by two means. Performance evaluations are performed and give an external perspective on the learning. Evocation interview are also performed to get an insight of the learning task from the participants point of view. Finally, these two studies are completed by a third one investigating the possibility to have an automatic performance evaluator in order to reduce grading discrepancies generated by humans graders. Such a tool would be required to have an objective performance evaluation of all the participants in order to compare the four learning environments presented in that thesis and eventual further iteration of these environments. The conclusion our the studies presented in that thesis are that learning motor skills from the imitation of a virtual human is possible. Consequently, virtual learning environments for motorskills teaching are relevant. Furthermore, these environments can be used in various types of applications. They can be used as a study tool for standard and controlled investigation of teaching by demonstration. They can also be used in an engineering loop for the development of further learning environments and training accelerators. They also have a potential usage in the development of exergames in response to the international obesity crisis.

Teaching Negotiation Skills Through Practice and Reflection with Virtual Humans

Although the representation of physical environments and behaviors will continue to play an important role in simulation-based training, an emerging challenge is the representation of virtual humans with rich mental models (e.g., including emotions, trust) that interact through conversational as well as physical behaviors. The motivation for such simulations is training soft skills such as leadership, cultural awareness, and negotiation, where the majority of actions are conversational, and the problem solving involves consideration of the emotions, attitudes, and desires of others. The educational power of such simulations can be enhanced by the integration of an intelligent tutoring system to support learners understanding of the effect of their actions on virtual humans and how they might improve their performance. In this paper, we discuss our efforts to build such virtual humans, along with an accompanying intelligent tutor, for the domain of negotiation and cultural awareness.

Virtual Humans

Virtual Humans provides a much-needed definition of what constitutes a ‘virtual human’ and places virtual humans within the wider context of Artificial Intelligence development. It explores the technical approaches to creating a virtual human, as well as emergent issues such as embodiment, identity, agency and digital immortality, and the resulting ethical challenges. The book presents an overview of current research and practice in this area, and outlines the major challenges faced by today’s developers and researchers. The book examines the possibility for using virtual humans in a variety of roles, from personal assistants to teaching, coaching and knowledge management, and the book situates these discussions around familiar applications (e.g. Siri, Cortana, Alexa) and the portrayal of virtual humans within Science Fiction. Features Presents a comprehensive overview of this rapidly developing field Provides an array of relevant, real-life examples from expert practitioners and researchers from around the globe in how to create the avatar body, mind, senses and ability to communicate Intends to be broad in scope yet practical in approach, so that it can serve the needs of several different audiences, including researchers, teachers, developers and anyone with an interest in where these technologies might take us Covers a wide variety of issues which have been neglected in other research texts; for example, definitions and taxonomies, the ethical challenges of virtual humans and issues around digital immortality Includes numerous examples and extensive references

Using Games and Simulations for Teaching and Assessment

Using Games and Simulations for Teaching and Assessment: Key Issues comprises a multidisciplinary investigation into the issues that arise when using games and simulations for educational purposes. Using both theoretical and empirical analyses, this collection examines cognitive, motivational, and psychometric issues with a focus on STEM content. Unlike other research-based volumes that focus solely on game design or the theoretical basis behind gaming, this book unites previously disparate communities of researchers—from civilian to military contexts as well as multiple disciplines—to critically explore current problems and illustrate how instructionally effective games and simulations should be planned and evaluated. While computer-based simulations and games have the potential to improve the quality of education and training, Using Games and Simulations for Teaching and Assessment: Key Issues shows how the science of learning should underlie the use of such technologies. Through a wide-ranging yet detailed examination, chapter authors provide suggestions for designing and developing games, simulations, and intelligent tutoring systems that are scientifically-based, outcomes-driven, and cost-conscious.

Another Dimension to Clinical Skills Education

What makes a virtual human credible and acceptable? Do they provide companionship that is similar to that of a person? More so, will it ever replace that of a person? It is not the art of simply creating a digital mockup of a human, but the art of creating an intelligent conversational model that is woven into a virtual human to deliver a personality and thought process; that truly raises the previous questions. Furthermore, we cannot predict the future, but it is simulation that can provide a picture of what the future may hold. This concept of simulation allows a doctor to perform a clinical skills interaction and a surgeon to perform a difficult procedure as many times as it takes until they reach a particular defined objective of proficiency. This is a capability that real life does not, nor ever will, offer. Standardized Patients (SP)s are actors who portray a patient to provide real life training to medical students. The obstacle that is being faced is the lack of standardization in the learning objectives and the quality of acting in SPs. Simulation can provide a supplement to existing training so that SPs may reach a higher level of competence; to in turn provide the best and fairest learning experience for medical students taking the Step 2cs exam. Several technical solutions, techniques, scientific studies, medical focus groups, and schools of thought are explored to assist in SP education throughout this book. In addition, this detailed reference also provides a fresh look to learning the fundamentals of clinical skills and simulation.

Intelligent Virtual Agents

This book constitutes the proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, IVA 2016, held in Los Angeles, CA, USA, in September 2016. The 12 full papers, 18 short papers, and 37 demo and poster papers accepted were carefully reviewed and selected from 81 submissions. IVA 2016 also includes three workshops: Workshop on Chatbots and Conversational Agents (WOCHAT), Can you feel me now? Creating Physiologically Aware Virtual Agents (PAVA), and Graphical and Robotic Embodied Agents for Therapeutic Systems, GREATS16. Intelligent Virtual Aspects (IVAs) are intelligent digital interactive characters that can communicate with humans and other agents using natural human modalities such as facial expressions, speech, gestures, and movement. They are capable of real-time perception, cognition, emotion and action that allow them to participate in dynamic social environments. Constructing and studying IVAs requires tools from a wide range of fields such as computer science, psychology, cognitive science, communication, linguistics, interactive media, human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence.

Teaching Empathy in Healthcare

Empathy is essential to effectively engaging patients as partners in care. Clinicians’ empathy is increasingly understood as a professional competency, a mode and process of relating that can be learned and taught. Communication and empathy training are penetrating healthcare professions curricula as knowledge about the most effective modalities to train, maintain, and deepen empathy grows. This book draws on a wide range of contributors across many disciplines, and takes an evidence-based and longitudinal approach to clinical empathy education. It takes the reader on an engaging journey from understanding what empathy is (and how it can be measured), to approaches to empathy education informed by those understandings. It elaborates the benefits of embedding empathy training in graduate and post-graduate curricula and the importance of teaching empathy in accord with the clinician’s stage of professional development. Finally, it examines systemic perspectives on empathy and empathy education in the clinical setting, addressing issues such as equity, stigma, and law. Each section is full of the latest evidence-based research, including, notably, the advances that have been made over recent decades in the neurobiology of empathy. Perspectives among the interdisciplinary chapters include: Neurobiology of empathy Measuring empathy in healthcare Teaching clinicians about affect Teaching cultural humility: Understanding the core of others by reflecting on ours Empathy and implicit bias: Can empathy training improve equity? Teaching Empathy in Healthcare: Building a New Core Competency takes an innovative and comprehensive approach towards a developed understanding of empathy in the clinical context. This evidence-based book is set to become a classic text on the topic of empathy in healthcare settings, and will appeal to a broad readership of clinicians, educators, and researchers in clinical medicine, neuroscience, behavioral health, and the social sciences, leaders in educational and professional organizations, and anyone interested in the healthcare services they utilize.

Intelligent Virtual Agents

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 7th International Workshop on Intelligent Virtual Agents, IVA 2007, held in Paris, France, September 2007. The 19 revised full papers and 12 revised short papers presented together with five invited talks and the abstracts of 32 poster papers are organized in topical sections on rendering and analysis, culture and identity, behavior models, feedback models, dialogues, applications, evaluation, gaze models and emotions.

Human Behavior in Military Contexts

Human behavior forms the nucleus of military effectiveness. Humans operating in the complex military system must possess the knowledge, skills, abilities, aptitudes, and temperament to perform their roles effectively in a reliable and predictable manner, and effective military management requires understanding of how these qualities can be best provided and assessed. Scientific research in this area is critical to understanding leadership, training and other personnel issues, social interactions and organizational structures within the military. The U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (ARI) asked the National Research Council to provide an agenda for basic behavioral and social research focused on applications in both the short and long-term. The committee responded by recommending six areas of research on the basis of their relevance, potential impact, and timeliness for military needs: intercultural competence; teams in complex environments; technology-based training; nonverbal behavior; emotion; and behavioral neurophysiology. The committee suggests doubling the current budget for basic research for the behavioral and social sciences across U.S. military research agencies. The additional funds can support approximately 40 new projects per year across the committee's recommended research areas. Human Behavior in Military Contexts includes committee reports and papers that demonstrate areas of stimulating, ongoing research in the behavioral and social sciences that can enrich the military's ability to recruit, train, and enhance the performance of its personnel, both organizationally and in its many roles in other cultures.

Artificial Intelligence in Education

The nature of technology has changed since Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED) was conceptualised as a research community and Interactive Learning Environments were initially developed. Technology is smaller, more mobile, networked, pervasive and often ubiquitous as well as being provided by the standard desktop PC. This creates the potential for technology supported learning wherever and whenever learners need and want it. However, in order to take advantage of this potential for greater flexibility we need to understand and model learners and the contexts with which they interact in a manner that enables us to design, deploy and evaluate technology to most effectively support learning across multiple locations, subjects and times.

The Mixed Methods Research Workbook

Written by Michael D. Fetters, one of the leading scholars in the field and co-editor of the Journal of Mixed Methods Research, The Mixed Methods Research Workbook: Activities for Designing, Implementing, and Publishing Projects is the perfect tool for doctoral students and researchers who want support throughout their research project, as well as a practical way to apply the knowledge they’ve learned. With The Mixed Methods Research Workbook, you’ll be ready to tackle your mixed methods research project with confidence. Each chapter follows a familiar framework, starting with learning objectives for each piece of the mixed methods process. Readers have ample space in this text to write notes, fill out activities, and begin their process of actively designing and writing up a mixed methods study. This easy-to follow process gives readers an immediate structure to their projects. Exemplar boxes provide a starting framework, with the text encouraging deeper reflection on mixed methods challenges and opportunities. Stories from the field illuminate struggles and suggestions with the benefit of hindsight. Checklists at the end of each chapter help readers stay organized and key resources provide up-to-date lists of material for further study. From start to finish, readers can follow along with this text as they work on their projects. The text begins by assisting readers in identifying topics and conducting literature reviews in the context of mixed methods, zeroing in to address mixed-methods-specific challenges like integration, leveraging advantages of both qualitative and quantitative methods, and incorporating theory and personal backgrounds. Identifying data sources helps readers organize their data collection. Two chapters on research designs structure the data collection process with procedural diagrams. A unique chapter on mixed methods sampling offers application through basic and advanced designs. The book illustrates integrating and implementing mixed methods designs with practical advice for each of stage of the process. Ethics in a mixed methods context readies readers for the research protocol stage. Several chapters fully explicate the data analysis process, including developing a joint display, a state-of-the-art procedure for analysis and presentation of findings. Closing out the process, the text tackles quality and evaluation in mixed methods studies, preparing your study for publication, and writing up your article.

Intelligent Virtual Agents

The origin of the Intelligent Virtual Agents conference dates from a successful workshop on Intelligent Virtual Environments held in Brighton at the 13th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI'98). This workshop was followed by a second one held in Salford in Manchester in 1999. Subsequent events took place in Madrid, Spain in 2001 and Irsee, Germany in 2003 and attracted participants from both sides of the Atlantic as well as Asia. th This volume contains the proceedings of the 5 International Working Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, IVA 2005, held on Kos Island, Greece, September 12–14, 2005, which highlighted once again the importance and vigor of the research field. A half-day workshop under the title “Socially Competent IVA’s: We are not alone in this (virtual) world!” also took place as part of this event. IVA 2005 received 69 submissions from Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia. The papers published here are the 26 full papers and 14 short papers presented at the conference, as well as one-page descriptions of the 15 posters and the descriptions of the featured invited talks by Prof. Justine Cassell, of Northwestern University and Prof. Kerstin Dautenhahn, of the University of Hertfordshire. We would like to thank a number of people that have contributed to the success of this conference. First of all, we thank the authors for their high-quality work and their willingness to share their ideas.

Handbook of Digital Human Modeling

The rapid introduction of sophisticated computers, services, telecommunications systems, and manufacturing systems has caused a major shift in the way people use and work with technology. It is not surprising that computer-aided modeling has emerged as a promising method for ensuring products meet the requirements of the consumer. The Handbook of Digital Human Modeling provides comprehensive coverage of the theory, tools, and methods to effectively achieve this objective. The 56 chapters in this book, written by 113 contributing authorities from Canada, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, and the US, provide a wealth of international knowledge and guidelines. They cover applications in advanced manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, data visualization and simulation, defense and military systems, design for impaired mobility, healthcare and medicine, information systems, and product design. The text elucidates tools to help evaluate product and work design while reducing the need for physical prototyping. Additional software and demonstration materials on the CRC Press web site include a never-before-released 220-page step-by-step UGS-Siemens JackTM help manual developed at Purdue University. The current gap between capability to correctly predict outcomes and set expectation for new and existing products and processes affects human-system performance, market acceptance, product safety, and satisfaction at work. The handbook provides the fundamental concepts and tools for digital human modeling and simulation with a focus on its foundations in human factors and ergonomics. The tools identified and made available in this handbook help reduce the need for physical prototyping. They enable engineers to quantify acceptability and risk in design in terms of the human factors and ergonomics.

Intelligent Virtual Agents

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 8th International Workshop on Intelligent Virtual Agents, IVA 2008, held in Tokyo, Japan, in September 2008. The 18 revised full papers and 28 revised short papers presented together 42 poster papers were carefully reviewed and selected from 99 submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on motion and empathy; narrative and augmented reality; conversation and negotiation; nonverbal behavior; models of culture and personality; markup and representation languages; architectures for robotic agents; cognitive architectures; agents for healthcare and training; and agents in games, museums and virtual worlds.

Virtual Realities

The articles by well-known international experts intend to facilitate more elaborate expositions of the research presented at the seminar, and to collect and document the results of the various discussions, including ideas and open problems that were identified. Correspondingly the book will consist of two parts. Part I will consist of extended articles describing research presented at the seminar. This will include papers on tracking, motion capture, displays, cloth simulation, and applications. Part II will consist of articles that capture the results of breakout discussions, describe visions, or advocate particular positions. This will include discussions about system latency, 3D interaction, haptic interfaces, social gaming, perceptual issues, and the fictional "Holodeck".

Design Recommendations for Intelligent Tutoring Systems

Design Recommendations for Intelligent Tutoring Systems explores the impact of intelligent tutoring system design on education and training. Specifically, this volume examines “Instructional Management” techniques, strategies and tactics, and identifies best practices, emerging concepts and future needs to promote efficient and effective adaptive tutoring solutions. Design recommendations include current, projected, and emerging capabilities within the Generalized Intelligent Framework for Tutoring (GIFT), an open source, modular, service-oriented architecture developed to promote simplified authoring, reuse, standardization, automated instructional management and analysis of tutoring technologies.

Design and Validation of a Virtual Human System for Interpersonal Skills Education

To provide insight into how changing the visual display component affected interaction with a virtual human, we designed two comparative user studies. The first study compared two immersive visual displays - a large-screen projection display and a more immersive head-mounted display. Results suggested that higher immersion may impair users' ability to accurately reflect upon their own performance. Participants in the head-mounted display condition were less accurate in evaluating their use of empathy. Following up on results from the first study, the second study compared two non immersive visual displays--a plasma television and a smaller computer monitor. Results suggested that displays that enable life-size scale virtual humans enhance user performance. Participants in the plasma television condition were more engaged, empathetic, pleasant, and natural.