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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is from the forthcoming The Oxford Handbook of Affective Computing edited by Rafael Calvo, Sidney K. D'Mello, Jonathan Gratch, and Arvid Kappas. Institutions of informal learning often seek to influence interest, attitudes, and feelings about the topics they address. The quality of visitor experiences depend on many factors, including the content of the exhibits, the ability of exhibits to promote sustained engagement, and the nature of the conversations visitors have with each other and staff. This chapter discusses the role of emotions during informal learning experiences and how affect-aware technologies could be used to enhance cognitive and affective outcomes. Four potential application areas are presented: (1) automation of evaluation tasks for informal learning, (2) sparking visitors’ interest and magnifying the attracting power of exhibits, (3) deepening engagement during learning activities, and (4) promoting productive conversational behaviors in groups as well as single visitors (with virtual agents). Key challenges ahead include the development of robust detection algorithms, addressing privacy concerns, tracking visitors beyond single exhibits, and integrating heterogeneous sources of information into useful estimates of visitors’ knowledge, emotions, and goals.

Keywords: informal learning, engagement, affect-aware technologies, evaluation

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