Learning By Collaborative Teaching: An Engaging Multi-Party CoWriter Activity


This paper presents the design of a novel and engaging collaborative learning activity for handwriting where a group of participants simultaneously tutor a Nao robot. This activity was intended to take advantage of both collaborative learning and the learning by teaching paradigm to improve children’s meta-cognition (perception of their own skills). Multiple engagement probes were integrated into the activity as a first step towards fostering long term interactions. As a lot of research targets social interactions, the goal here was to determine whether an engagement strategy focused on the task could be as, or more efficient than one focused on social interactions and participants’ introspection. To that effect, two engagement strategies were implemented. They differed in content but used the same multi-modal design in order to increase participants’ meta-cognitive reflection, once on the task and performances, and once on participants’ enjoyment and emotions. Both strategies were compared to a baseline by probing and assessing engagement at the individual and group level, along the behavioural, emotional and cognitive dimensions, in a between subject experiment with 12 groups of children. The experiments showed that the collaborative task pushed the children to adapt their manner of writing to the group, even though the adopted solution was not always correct. Furthermore, there was no significant difference between the strategies in terms of behaviour on task (behavioural engagement), satisfaction (emotional engagement) or performance (cognitive engagement) as the group dynamics had a stronger impact on the outcome of the collaborative teaching task. Therefore, the task and social engagement strategies can be considered as efficient in the context of collaboration.

2019 28th IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN)