This chapter discusses certain issues in the development of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) populated by autonomous social agents, with specific reference to existing applications designed to promote pro-social behaviour among children. We begin by describing the ways in which human groups are organised and maintained, and present the primary school class as a particular example of a social network. Contemporary psychological descriptions of bullying are explained, and current anti-bullying interventions are briefly reviewed. Two VLEs are described, which have been designed to counteract the problems inherent in bullying as exemplars of social and educational environments. This chapter concludes in Part II where the requirements for believable, autonomous agents, used in virtual learning environments, are outlined.
|Title of host publication
|Handbook of Research on Agent-Based Societies
|Subtitle of host publication
|Social and Cultural Interactions
|Number of pages
|Published - 1 Dec 2009