Active open learner models as animal companions: Motivating children to learn through interacting with my-pet and our-pet

Zhi Hong Chen, Chih Yueh Chou, Yi Chan Deng, Tak Wai Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Citations (Scopus)


This pilot study reports how to portray open learner models as animal companions in order to motivate children to learn in the digital classroom environment. To meet two challenges of motivation and interactivity for open learner models, the concept of open learner models as animal companions is proposed based on the emotional attachment of humans towards pets. Animal companions adopt three strategies and play various educational roles to help children’s learning in motivation, reflection and member interactions. A class of students is divided into several teams. A student keeps her own individual animal companion, called My-Pet, which holds the open learner model of the student, and each team has a team animal companion, called Our-Pet, which owns their open group learner model. A preliminary experiment is conducted in a fifth-grade class with 31 eleven year old students in an elementary school to collect initial feedback in cognitive and affective aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-167
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Group learner model
  • Learning companion
  • Motivation
  • Open learner model
  • Reflection
  • Reflection Open learner model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

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