Redefining the learning companion: The past, present, and future of educational agents

Chih Yueh Chou, Tak Wai Chan, Chi Jen Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


The development of intelligent tutoring systems has long been the focus of applying artificial intelligence and cognitive science in education. A new breed of intelligent learning environments called learning companion systems was developed over a decade ago. In contrast to an intelligent tutoring system, in which a computer mimics an intelligent tutor, the learning companion system assumes two roles, one as an intelligent tutor and another as a learning companion. Motivated by recent interest in agent research and other technologies, this learning companion field has received increasing attention. This study addresses issues that arise from different perspectives on this research effort. With a view to future networked learning environments, the learning companion is redefined for application to a wide spectrum of educational agent research. Accordingly, several subjects that relate to educational agents, and hence learning companions, are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-269
Number of pages15
JournalComputers and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Collaborative learning
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Intelligent tutoring systems
  • Learning communities
  • Simulations


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