Intelligent Tutoring goes to the Museum in the Big City: A Pedagogical Agent for Informal Science Education


H. Chad Lane, Dan Noren, Daniel Auerbach, Mike Birch and William Swartout

Paper type: 
Full paper
15. 13:30-15:00, Friday 1 July


In this paper, we describe Coach Mike, a virtual staff member at the Boston Museum of Science that seeks to help visitors at Robot Park, an interactive exhibit for computer programming. By tracking visitor interactions and through the use of animation, gestures, and synthesized speech, Coach Mike provides several forms of support that seek to improve the experiences of museum visitors. These include orientation tactics, exploration support, and problem solving guidance. Additional tactics use encouragement and humor to entice visitors to stay more deeply engaged. Preliminary analysis of interaction logs suggest that visitors can follow Coach Mike’s guidance and may be less prone to immediate disengagement, but further study is needed.


pedagogical agents, intelligent tutoring systems, coaching, informal science education, entertainment, computer science education