Document Type : Original Research Paper


Computer Arts Department, Faculty of Multimedia, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz, Iran


Background and Objectives: Virtual Reality (VR) technology is an effective tool to teach various well-known skills and concepts. Teaching and integrating the traffic culture by using modern approaches is an essential fact to control and decrease the damages and costs caused by driving problems.  In the past few years, the element of virtual instructor has been added to the intelligent tutoring system to increase the interactivity and learning effectiveness of  the learners. Teaching via an instructor or the so-called ‘video modeling’ which is part of multimedia teaching content is referred to as the teaching samples in which an instructor explains how to do something. Examining the effects of using an intelligent virtual instructor in educational multimedia content is one of the special fields of research in education and learning to which enough attention has not been paid . On the other hand, in recent years, using technology and modern approaches in the field of traffic educating has become very popular and various countries have made considerable  investments  in this area. Based on this issue,  in this paper, with the development and testing of a simulator game of teaching traffic rules (traffic-sim)  the effect of the presence of an intelligent virtual instructor on the improvement of the users’ learning efficiency as well as enhancing their sense of presence were studied. The goal of this study is determining the effect of the presence of the intelligent virtual instructors in teaching the traffic rules  to the learners. We also aim to investigate to what extent the presence of the intelligent virtual instructors can enhance learning ability and the sense of presence in the learning scenarios.
Methods: For this aim, to provide the educational content in a game, the ‘traffic-sim’ simulator was designed and implemented in two versions including with a virtual intelligent instructor (instructor-based) and without a virtual intelligent instructor (visual-text).Using a comprehensive user study, we evaluated and compared the sense of presence and performance of players in the instructor-based mode and without the virtual instructor mode. In order to test the objective variables, the statistical population of 20 students from Tabriz Islamic Art University was selected and assigned randomly to either control or experimental groups. The experimental and the control group were respectively trained using the instructor-based simulator and the visual-text-based simulator. Participants were asked to play the simulator while learning the traffic rules.  To analyze the effect of the presence of virtual instructor on two variables, namely learning and sense of presence, the data regarding the number of the rules violated during playing the game and the results of the sense of presence questionnaire were used both for the experimental and the control groups, respectively. 
Findings:The analyses in two levels of descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation) and inferential statistics (independent t-test) confirm that the use of intelligent virtual instructor improves the users’ learning (M=5.00, SD=3.00, t(18) =0.043, p < 0.05) and enhances the sense of the presence in the participants (M=114, SD=6.00,
t(18) =0.023, p < 0.05).
Conclusion: In the present study, ‘traffic-sim’ simulator was designed and developed to teach the traffic rules.
as a serious game to train individuals by scenarios related to the real-world traffic rules. We tested the impacts of intelligent virtual instructor attendance on enhancing users’ learning and their sense of presence. The results of data analysis showed that the presence of the virtual instructor can enhance the participants’ sense of presence while enhancing the efficiency of the process of learning traffic rules. Our findings reveal that the learners would try to choose safer strategies  and improve their performance after they have made a mistake . Moreover, the presence of the virtual instructor would lead to social interactions between the user and the virtual instructor that can result in increasing the learners’ sense of presence. Based on the findings of the previous researchers and the present study, it can be concluded that the intervention of a virtual teaching factor can have a positive effect on learning as well as the sense of the learners’ presence in the process of driving traffic simulation. Therefore, virtual instructors can be used to improve the learning process in educational subjects. 


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