Exploring the social competence of students with autism spectrum conditions in a collaborative virtual learning environment - The pilot study

Yufang Cheng, Jun Ye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Citations (Scopus)


Social reciprocity deficits are a core feature of the autism spectrum conditions (ASCs). Many individual with ASCs have difficulty with social interaction due to a frequent lack of social competence. This study focuses on using a virtual learning environment to help the deficiencies of social competence for people with ASCs, and to increase their social interaction. Specifically, it primitively explores social competence in collaborative virtual learning environment (CVLE) systems, and behavioral performance in social and cognitive interactions. Thus, this CVLE-social interaction system involves a 3D expressive avatar, an animated social situation, and verbal as well as text-communication. A preliminary empirical study involved CVLE-social interaction systems. Three participants who had been diagnosed with ASCs were conducted using a multiple baseline research for evidence of improved social competence through usage of the system. The experimental study consisted of 17 days; and the results showed that using the CVLE-social interaction system had significant positive effects on participants' performance, both within the CVLE-social interaction system and in terms of reciprocal social interaction learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1068-1077
Number of pages10
JournalComputers and Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education

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