This paper describes current work directed at dealing with students' learning impasses that can arise when they are unable to make further learning progress while interacting in a 3D virtual world. This kind of situation may occur when group members do not possess the requisite knowledge needed to bootstrap themselves out of their predicament or when all group members mistakenly believe that their incorrect conceptual understanding of a science phenomenon is correct. The work reported here takes place in C–VISions, a socialized collaborative learning environment. To deal with such learning impasses, we have developed multiple embodied pedagogical agents and introduced them into the C–VISions environment. The agents are used to trigger experientially grounded cognitive dissonance between students and thereby to induce conceptual conflict that requires resolution. We describe the design and implementation of our agents which take on different functional roles and are programmed to aid students in the conflict resolution process. A description of multi agent-user interaction is provided to demonstrate how the agents enact their roles when students encounter a learning impasse.
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