Educators have indicated that social approaches to reading such as book talk activities are helpful for promoting students' interest in reading. However, it is not possible for teachers to interact with all students to talk about the books they have read as they have different language proficiency levels and different topics of interest. This study thus aimed to understand the affordances of a chatbot built with artificial intelligence techniques as a book talk companion, and to explore the role of the interaction in students' engagement and interest in reading. Adopting AI techniques, the chatbot in this study had basic understanding of 157 books. While students could choose any of the books to read and interact with the chatbot, the chatbot provided book talk and social affective cues to facilitate the book talk. Multiple data sources from 68 students participating in a 6-week reading activity were collected and analyzed. It was found that students perceived a high level of social connection with the chatbot. In particular, students talking with the chatbot maintained a stable level of situational interest in the value dimension, while the interest of those who did not participate in the book talk with the chatbot faded significantly. Students' perceptions of the social connection with the chatbot were closely related to their engagement in the reading activity and correlated with both their triggered-situational interest and maintained situational interest. The results provide insights into how a chatbot with AI techniques can create a positive reading experience to sustain students’ interest in learning.
|Journal||Computers and Education|
|State||Published - Nov 2022|
- Data science applications in education
- Human-computer interface applications in subject areas elementary education