Learning intercultural communication skills with virtual humans: Feedback and fidelity

H. Chad Lane, Matthew Jensen Hays, Mark G. Core, Daniel Auerbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the context of practicing intercultural communication skills, we investigated the role of fidelity in a game-based, virtual learning environment as well as the role of feedback delivered by an intelligent tutoring system. In 2 experiments, we compared variations on the game interface, use of the tutoring system, and the form of the feedback. Our findings suggest that for learning basic intercultural communicative skills, a 3-dimensional (3-D) interface with animation and sound produced equivalent learning to a more static 2-D interface. However, learners took significantly longer to analyze and respond to the actions of animated virtual humans, suggesting a deeper engagement. We found large gains in learning across conditions. There was no differential effect with the tutor engaged, but it was found to have a positive impact on learner success in a transfer task. This difference was most pronounced when the feedback was delivered in a more general form versus a concrete style.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1026-1033
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Feedback
  • Intelligent tutoring systems
  • Intercultural communication
  • Sense of presence
  • Virtual humans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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