Multiple studies have reported beneficial effects of embedding pedagogical agents in learning environments . Most of these studies relate to effects in well-structured learning environments. In contrast, this contribution investigates the effects of pedagogical agents in open learning environments. A group that receives advice from a pedagogical agent is compared to a no-agent group. Dependent variables were performance, score on a transfer test and the use of tools. While groups did not differ on the performance test, rather surprisingly, the no-agent group outperformed the agent group on the transfer test. The no-agent group also spends significantly more time on the information list than the agent group. Results suggest that the pedagogical agent made the environment even more complex, causing additional cognitive load for the participants.
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