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Agents in Informal E-Learning

Agents in informal e-learning are tools and technologies used for interest-based learning. An e-learning environment is simply a virtual space where students use technology to gain knowledge. Informal learning occurs in or outside the classroom. Informal learning is considered interest-based because it is flexible, personalized, engaging, collaborative, and experiential. After briefly describing the origins of informal learning, this entry centers on how 21st-century learners engage informally with software agents.

Informal learning can be traced to the theory of constructivism, originated by American philosopher, psychologist, and educator John Dewey and Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher Jean Piaget. Dewey believed that for learning to occur it had to be personally meaningful, to allow students to manipulate materials, and to create a community of learners. Piaget believed students should ...

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