Regional Cultural Differences in How Students Customize Their Avatars in Technology-Enhanced Learning

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Conference Proceeding

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As AIED systems with agents and avatars are used by students in different world regions, we expect students to prefer ones that look like them according to the Similarity Attraction Hypothesis. We investigate this effect via a system with a customizable avatar deployed in 2 US regions and 2 Philippines regions. We find that US students do customize as expected, while students in the Philippines tend to select names and hairstyles from outside their culture. These results show the need for more nuanced system design to tailor options for regional-level preferences.