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Article

Attitudes towards Social Robots in Education: Enthusiast, Practical, Troubled, Sceptic, and Mindfully Positive

1
Department of Communication Science, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Institute for Information Communication and Technology, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 15, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands
3
Department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences, Tilburg University, Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB Tilburg, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Robotics 2021, 10(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010024
Received: 8 December 2020 / Revised: 19 January 2021 / Accepted: 20 January 2021 / Published: 26 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Educational Robotics)
While social robots bring new opportunities for education, they also come with moral challenges. Therefore, there is a need for moral guidelines for the responsible implementation of these robots. When developing such guidelines, it is important to include different stakeholder perspectives. Existing (qualitative) studies regarding these perspectives however mainly focus on single stakeholders. In this exploratory study, we examine and compare the attitudes of multiple stakeholders on the use of social robots in primary education, using a novel questionnaire that covers various aspects of moral issues mentioned in earlier studies. Furthermore, we also group the stakeholders based on similarities in attitudes and examine which socio-demographic characteristics influence these attitude types. Based on the results, we identify five distinct attitude profiles and show that the probability of belonging to a specific profile is affected by such characteristics as stakeholder type, age, education and income. Our results also indicate that social robots have the potential to be implemented in education in a morally responsible way that takes into account the attitudes of various stakeholders, although there are multiple moral issues that need to be addressed first. Finally, we present seven (practical) implications for a responsible application of social robots in education following from our results. These implications provide valuable insights into how social robots should be implemented. View Full-Text
Keywords: social robots; education; moral concerns; child-robot interaction; ethics; stakeholder perspectives; robot tutors; educational robotics social robots; education; moral concerns; child-robot interaction; ethics; stakeholder perspectives; robot tutors; educational robotics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Smakman, M.H.J.; Konijn, E.A.; Vogt, P.; Pankowska, P. Attitudes towards Social Robots in Education: Enthusiast, Practical, Troubled, Sceptic, and Mindfully Positive. Robotics 2021, 10, 24. https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010024

AMA Style

Smakman MHJ, Konijn EA, Vogt P, Pankowska P. Attitudes towards Social Robots in Education: Enthusiast, Practical, Troubled, Sceptic, and Mindfully Positive. Robotics. 2021; 10(1):24. https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010024

Chicago/Turabian Style

Smakman, Matthijs H.J., Elly A. Konijn, Paul Vogt, and Paulina Pankowska. 2021. "Attitudes towards Social Robots in Education: Enthusiast, Practical, Troubled, Sceptic, and Mindfully Positive" Robotics 10, no. 1: 24. https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010024

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