AbstractsComputer Science

Design and evaluation of an avatar-mediated system for child interview training

by David Johansson

Institution: Linnæus University
Year: 2015
Keywords: avatar; avatar-mediated; child interview training; communication; control; co-presence; emotion; facial expression; interaction; interface; non-verbal communication; presence; realism; realistic; social presence; Natural Sciences; Computer and Information Science; Media and Communication Technology; Naturvetenskap; Data- och informationsvetenskap; Medieteknik; Medieteknik; Media Technology
Record ID: 1370649
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-40054


There is an apparent problem with children being abused in different ways in their everyday life and the lack of education related to these issues among working adults in the vicinity of these children, for example as social workers or teachers. There are formal courses in child interview training that teach participants how to talk to children in a correct manner. Avatar-mediation enables new methods of practicing this communication without having to involve a real child or role play face-to-face with another adult. In this study it was explored how a system could be designed in order to enable educational practice sessions where a child interview expert can be mediated through avatars in the form of virtual children. Prototypes were developed in order to evaluate the feasibility of the scenario regarding methods for controlling the avatar and how the avatar was perceived by the participants. It was found that there is a clear value in the educational approach of using avatar-mediation. From the perspective of the interactor it was found that using a circular radial interface for graphical representation of different emotions was possible to control a video-based avatar while simultaneously having a conversation with the participant. The results of the study include a proposed design of an interface, description of underlying system functionality and suggestions on how avatar behavior can be characterized in order to achieve a high level of presence for the participant.