Feedback specificity and the learning of intercultural communication skills

Matthew Hays, H. Chad Lane, Daniel Auerbach, Mark G. Core, Dave Gomboc, Milton Rosenberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The role of explicit feedback in learning has been studied from a variety of perspectives and in many contexts. In this paper, we examine the impact of the specificity of feedback delivered by an intelligent tutoring system in a game-based environment for cultural learning. We compared two versions: one that provided only "bottom-out" hints and feedback versus one that provided only conceptual messages. We measured during-training performance, in-game transfer, and long-term retention. Consistent with our hypotheses, specific feedback utterances produced inferior learning on the in-game transfer task when compared to conceptual utterances. No differences were found on a web-based post-test. We discuss possible explanations for these findings, particularly as they relate to the learning of loosely defined skills and serious games.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781607500285
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
ISSN (Print)0922-6389
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8314


  • Cultural awareness
  • Feedback
  • Intelligent tutoring systems
  • Intercultural communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Serious games
  • Virtual humans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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