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Conversational Agents for Deep Reflection among Users

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Reflection is found to play a mediating role in learning processes, and can benefit from technological support. Research on reflective informatics, i.e., technologies that facilitate and support reflection among users, has put forth a variety of technologies that support reflection up to a certain reflection depth. However, there is still a gap in knowledge about the required characteristics in technologies that repeatedly lead users to deep reflection in the sense of dialogic, transformative, or critical reflection according to Fleck and Fitzpatrick [1].

Baumer identifies three conceptual dimensions that are represented in reviewed literature on interactive system design for reflection [2]. One of those dimensions is inquiry, i.e., Baumer finds that interactive systems repeatedly support reflection in users if they facilitate exchange between users, and enable users to compare, test, and revise their knowledge, and perceptions. Fleck and Fitzpatrick identify five levels of reflection, including dialogic reflection, i.e., users reach dialogic reflection if they take on a new perspective on a certain aspect or consider another alternative [1]. Both aspects of dialogic reflection are present in a conversation with another person according to Fleck and Fitzpatrick [1]. Based on Baumer's notion of inquiry, and Fleck and Fitzpatrick's aspects of dialogic reflection, we formulate the hypothesis that in the field of reflective informatics, technologies that support dialogs such as conversational agents are suitable for reflection support. The goal of this work is to study the design space of conversational reflective informatics, research suitable evaluation methods for conversational reflective informatics, and find configurations of the conversational reflective informatics design space that enable deep reflection.


[1] Fleck, Rowanne, und Geraldine Fitzpatrick. „Reflecting on Reflection: Framing a Design Landscape“. Proceedings of the 22nd Conference of the Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group of Australia on Computer-Human Interaction - OZCHI ’10, ACM Press, 2010, S. 216. DOI: 10.1145/1952222.1952269

[2] Baumer, Eric P. S. „Reflective Informatics: Conceptual Dimensions for Designing Technologies of Reflection“. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, 2015, S. 585–94. DOI: 10.1145/2702123.2702234