Authors: Nicole Wang, Dr. Martin K.-C. Yeh, Dr. Andrea Gregg, Chenyang Zhu, Amy Garbrick, Dr. Kyle Peck
This paper briefly describes an online interface designed to visualize learner’s academic performance in an innovative approach intended to encourage and facilitate peer to peer social and academic support. The interface is a virtual environment where an animated pet’s emotion represents a student’s academic performance. Three design strategies are utilized for the interface. First, the pet companion strategy that motivates the learner to learn so as to keep the pet dog happy; second, the anonymous learner strategy that all learners’ real name will only be reflected by the names of the pet dog, and by doing so learner will not feel embarrassed to seek help; lastly, peer-to-peer interaction strategy that allows learners either to post a question at discussion forum, or to chat privately when they need help. A pilot quasi-experimental study will be conducted to measure the effectiveness of the interface in terms of motivation and peer-to-peer engagement.
Keywords: Data visualization, computer-assisted learning, learning experience, peer support, social presence