The growing intercultural mobility in academia necessitates the culturally differentiated design of digital learning artifacts such as Pedagogical Conversational Agents (PCAs). We coded two PCA prototypes and manipulated the variable "power distance" in the context of a within-subjects study design, once adapted to Chinese and once to German (learning) culture. We measured perceived competence, usefulness, identification, social presence, enjoyment, and trust in each PCA among the two groups of German and Chinese students in an online experiment, ran multivariate statistical analyses and reflected thereupon in a qualitative follow-up workshop. Our findings essentially demonstrate that German students prefer a PCA as a Learning Companion with a low power distance, strong social bonding and vivid interactions, while Chinese students see more value in a superior PCA instructor, that emphasizes power distance through structure and learning efficiency. We conclusively discuss the need for a more culture-specific and value-driven design of PCAs.
Schlimbach, Ricarda and Zhu, Xingyang, "LET’S (NOT) BE FRIENDS! – AN INTERCULTURAL EXPERIMENT WITH GERMAN AND CHINESE STUDENTS ON THE PERCEPTION OF POWER DISTANCE IN PEDAGOGICAL CONVERSATIONAL AGENTS" (2023). ECIS 2023 Research Papers. 270.