The Use of Telepresence Robots as an Educational Tool

Min Ji Kim

Advisor: Tyler H. Shaw, PhD, Department of Psychology

Committee Members: Elizabeth Phillips, Yi-Ching Lee

Online Location, Online
July 10, 2023, 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM

Abstract:

With the rise of COVID-19, the need for a teaching alternative to in-person has grown tremendously. While the most common alternative to in-person teaching has been videoconferencing, telepresence robots can serve as an effective teaching modality as well. In study 1, 92 participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions (Human, Telepresence Robot, or Videoconferencing) and were read two scripts then were asked to complete a quiz on these topics. Participants in the telepresence condition performed significantly better than participants in the videoconferencing condition in one of the quizzes. The results suggest that telepresence robots could be an effective alternative to videoconferencing. A second study to follow up on the results was conducted. In this study, 62 participants were assigned to one of two conditions (Telepresence Robot, or Videoconferencing) and were read two scripts with more interaction, and were asked to complete a quiz on the topics. There were no significant differences between the two groups, suggesting that more interaction may reduce the differences between the telepresence robot and videoconferencing. The current results can inform the use of telepresence robots in the educational settings, especially in the higher educational settings.