This past week I spoke to my research mentor Michael Madaio and he suggested to me that I am getting more on topic with my previous lit review draft. What exactly does on topic mean? Well, we are focusing on four variables: self disclosure, rapport, problem solving efficiency, and self efficacy. I have to connect these with my new literature review draft, and that is what I have tried to do. The draft is at this link (keep in mind this is a very rough draft that only serves for me to connect my ideas loosely, more reading and meeting with my team is needed): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ypu3P7QgnOxn6P_q37cJcPHVgqnEHaTNKCxgOSx-0I4/edit?usp=sharing
For those wondering how this connects to the original CREU project proposal, the connection between self efficacy and problem solving and rapport may answer more questions as to how personal measures of students (e.g. shyness, extrovertedness) may influence the rapport the student creates with the virtual agent (research proposal goal number 1). Thus, I am on topic and focused (although my head is spinning from so much reading and thinking about gaps).
What follows is a summary of my literature review draft, and connections I’m trying to isolate.
My main goal is to elucidate at what point rapport becomes more destructive to learning gains than beneficial. For example, in our data we have observed that sometimes friends with too high a rapport can have lower learning gains because they don’t focus on the problems. So what is the behavior of rapport that most directly leads to learning gains? And whch behaviors can lead students astray?
To this end, I believe there is a connection between self efficacy and self disclosure. Research shows that the act of disclosing personal information not only deepens a bond between friends (thereby increasing intimacy and encouraging fearless questioning behavior that leads to learning gains), but the very act of publicly admitting one’s limits (e.g. “I can’t understand this problem at all, I’m very afraid to answer.”) reduces anxiety. When I say anxiety, I don’t mean clinically relevant (severe) trait-based anxiety, I mean the small anxieties psychologically healthy people experience when choosing to respond with one answer or another during a test (during a tutoring session). If this is true, then there is some connection between self disclosure and confidence in learning and being questioned, and confidence (self efficacy) in learning is one of the best predictors of learning gains. Thus, self disclosure may be very important to increasing learning gains. however, my mentor brought up the problem that our measures of self efficacy are insufficient to describe self efficacy variations across an entire session. Thus, I need to ook at self efficacy by using indirect measures, and possibly I may have to do the same with self disclosure.