Sharing Secrets with Robots?

Roy Bhakta, Maggi Savin-Baden, Gemma Tombs

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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    This paper presents initial findings from a large-scale study that evaluated levels of student disclosure on sensitive topics. Four different conditions of survey delivery were applied and follow up interviews were undertaken. Non-parametric tests were used due to the data not satisfying the assumptions of parametric statistical tests; Wilcoxon Signed Ranks tests were conducted to examine the differences further. Preliminary data suggest that students disclosed additional information to the chatbot on more sensitive topics when the length of engagement was increased, but that this effect could be negated by the inclusion of the depth of engagement questions. Such findings suggest that the sensitivity of the student-chatbot conversation is critical in determining the influence of the chatbot, and that particular care should be taken when designing contextually-relevant ‘icebreaker’ questions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventWorld Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications - Tampere, Finland
    Duration: 23 Jun 201423 Jun 2014


    ConferenceWorld Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright by AACE. Reprinted from the Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, 2014 with permission of AACE ( This article cannot be distributed or reprinted for profit.


    • student disclosure
    • sensitive topics
    • chatbot


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