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    A Persuasive Social Actor for Activity Awareness in Learning Groups

    HCI 2016 - Fusion!

    Proceedings of the 30th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2016)

    Bournemouth University, Poole, UK, 11 - 15 July 2016


    Reem Al Ashaikh, Stephanie Wilson & Sara Jones



    In collaborative learning groups, students’ awareness of each others’ activities is key to enhancing the effectiveness of collaboration. Some studies have reported that many of the breakdowns in collaboration in learning groups happen because of a lack of activity awareness. While some technologies have been developed to support activity awareness, the potential of persuasive technology has not yet been explored. We report the design, development and evaluation of a persuasive technology for this purpose in the form of a digital social actor. The design of the social actor was shaped by persuasive design principles. The evaluation involved 21 participants who used the app during group projects as part of a postgraduate course. Results showed that activity awareness increased towards the end of the project work and that participants felt the social actor changed their awareness behaviour. This research makes two contributions: it investigates a novel approach to promoting activity awareness in small learning groups by using a social actor to change students’ attitudes and behaviours, and it reports a first attempt to design, develop and evaluate a persuasive social actor based on the Persuasive Systems Design model.


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