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Teaching Communication Skills with Virtual Humans
May/June 2006 (vol. 26 no. 3)
pp. 10-13
Benjamin Lok, University of Florida
At the University of Florida (UF), a research team has worked on applying virtual humans as partners in interpersonal communication scenarios. The goal: teach communication skills using virtual humans. The simulation of an interaction between people to facilitate teaching, training, and testing of communication skills would be a powerful new application of VR. The author's approach is to employ natural methods of interaction with the virtual human, striving to create an experience similar to two (initially) people talking. By using a natural interface, we aim to have the student interact with DIANA naturally, and thus allow the training of interviewing and communication skills.

1. K. Johnsen et al., "Experiences in Using Immersive Virtual Characters to Educate Medical Communication Skills," Proc. IEEE Virtual Reality, IEEE CS Press, 2005, pp. 179–186.
2. K. Johnsen et al., "Evolving an Immersive Medical Communication Skills Trainer," to appear in J. Presence: Tele-operators and Virtual Environments.
3. R. Dickerson et al., "Virtual Patients: Assessment of Synthesized Versus Recorded Speech," Proc. Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 14, J.D. Westwood et al., eds., IOS Press, 2006, pp. 114–119.

Index Terms:
virtual humans, teaching, communication skills, digital animated avatar
Benjamin Lok, "Teaching Communication Skills with Virtual Humans," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 10-13, May-June 2006, doi:10.1109/MCG.2006.68
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