When Preschoolers Interact with an Educational Robot, Does Robot Feedback Influence Engagement?

Mirjam de Haas, Paul Vogt, Emiel Krahmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we examine to what degree children of 3–4 years old engage with a task and with a social robot during a second-language tutoring lesson. We specifically investigated whether children’s task engagement and robot engagement were influenced by three different feedback types by the robot: adult-like feedback, peer-like feedback and no feedback. Additionally, we investigated the relation between children’s eye gaze fixations and their task engagement and robot engagement. Fifty-eight Dutch children participated in an English counting task with a social robot and physical blocks. We found that, overall, children in the three conditions showed similar task engagement and robot engagement; however, within each condition, they showed large individual differences. Additionally, regression analyses revealed that there is a relation between children’s eye-gaze direction and engagement. Our findings showed that although eye gaze plays a significant role in measuring engagement and can be used to model children’s task engagement and robot engagement, it does not account for the full concept and engagement still comprises more than just eye gaze.

Original languageEnglish
Article number77
Number of pages21
JournalMultimodal Technologies and Interaction
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Child–robot interaction
  • Engagement
  • Preschool children
  • Robot tutor
  • Second-language learning


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