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Accessibility and acceptance of a virtual respondent-based interviewer training application


Armsby, P., Link, M., Hubal, R., Guinn, C., Flicker, L., & Caspar, R. (2003). Accessibility and acceptance of a virtual respondent-based interviewer training application. In Survey and Statistical Computing IV: The Impact of Technology on the Survey Process Berkeley, UK: Association for Survey Computing.


Training applications which use responsive virtual-human technology (RVHT) – training tools based on sophisticated voice recognition and behavior modeling technologies – have great potential for improving training of interaction skills essential to effective interviewing, such as refusal avoidance, probing, and addressing questions related to informed consent. However, our understanding of how to model the behavior of responsive virtual humans and how people interact with them is limited. The overall effectiveness of this technology as a training tool depends upon its ability to provide appropriate learning experiences, its ability to engage the student, and its acceptability to disparate users. This research assesses the accessibility and acceptance of a training application based on RVHT as a tool for teaching refusal avoidance skills to telephone interviewers. The assessment focuses on users’ ability to understand the basic features of the application, whether diverse users are able to use
the application equally, how users react to problems, whether the virtual humans are realistic enough for the users, and ultimately, whether users accept the virtual environment as a valid proxy for the real work environment.