“We Make a Great Team!”: Adults with Low Prior Domain Knowledge Learn more from a Peer Robot than a Tutor Robot


In peer tutoring, the learner is taught by a colleague rather than by a traditional tutor. This strategy has been shown to be effective in human tutoring, where students have higher learning gains when taught by a peer instead of a traditional tutor. Similar results have been shown in child-robot interactions studies, where a peer robot was more effective than a tutor robot at teaching children. In this work, we compare skill increase and perception of a peer robot to a tutor robot when teaching adults. We designed a system in which a robot provides personalized help to adults in electronic circuit construction. We compare the number of learned skills and preferences of a peer robot to a tutor robot. Participants in both conditions improved their circuit skills after interacting with the robot. There were no significant differences in number of skills learned between conditions. However, participants with low prior domain knowledge learned significantly more with a peer robot than a tutor robot. Furthermore, the peer robot was perceived as friendlier, more social, smarter, and more respectful than the tutor robot, regardless of initial skill level.

In Proceedings of the 2022 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI ‘22)
Kaitlynn T. Pineda
Kaitlynn T. Pineda
Ph.D. Student in Computer Science