Gizmo EdTech Lab


Our Projects


Mere Belief of Social Interaction

Previous social learning research has suggested that in technologically mediated contexts, the mere belief one is interacting with another human being rather than a computer agent leads to superior learning (Okita, Bailenson & Schwartz, 2007). Most research done on this topic, however, focuses on social interaction with virtual artifacts in virtual environments. This project suggests a shift of attention to social interaction with technological artifacts (i.e., agents and avatars) in physical environments, in the form of human-robot interaction (HRI), which might be considered as a relevant moderator variable in social learning. 

Recursive Feedback

Feedback is important for learning. However, there are different types of feedback, and not all feedback is effective. Here we introduce recursive feedback (RF), which occurs when tutors observe their pupils use what they have been taught. On posttests, students who participate in recursive feedback exhibit greater abilities to use logic to solve novel problems compared to students in control conditions who received direct feedback. RF may further generalize to nonteaching situations that also involve a production–appropriation cycle, such as do-it-yourself projects in which people have a chance to learn from how other people take up their handiwork.


The VR Chemistry Lab is a virtual reality environment designed to mimic a real-life high school chemistry lab. It has been created to include the same instruments and laws of physics that exist in its real-life environment. Studies will be done to measure the potential for learning in the VR environment, the chronological order of when using VR is most effective, and what affordances of the VR environment are most advantageous for learning results and transfer.



In this Growth Mindset and Teachable Agents project, the research focus is on how teachable agents instill mindsets that increase participants’ learning motivation, engagement, and better their learning outcomes. This project investigates the interaction and dynamics between participants and different teachable agents to see how learning is shaped in between. In addition, we are also curious to see how would that dynamic differ when participants interact with a teachable agent versus a human peer.