University of Hertfordshire

  • Scott Watson
  • Kerstin Dautenhahn
  • Wan Ching Steve Ho
  • Rafal Dawidowicz
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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Agent-Based Societies
Subtitle of host publicationSocial and Cultural Interactions
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781605662367
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


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.

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