E-Circus (Education through Characters with Emotional Intelligence and Role-playing Capabilities that Understand Social Interaction)


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eCIRCUS will develop a new approach in the use of ICT to support social and emotional learning within Personal and Social Education (PSE).

This will be achieved through virtual role-play with synthetic characters that establish credible and empathic relations with the learners. To attain this, eCIRCUS investigates educational role-play using autonomous synthetic characters and involving the child through affective engagement, including the use of standard and highly innovative interaction mechanisms.

This project will develop novel conceptual models and innovative technology to support learning through role-play and affective engagement for Personal and Social Education (PSE) involving complex social situations. It will do this by taking modern theories of narrative and role-play from psychology and implementing them in affectively driven autonomous graphically embodied agents – actors with attitude.

It will deliver this technology through a VLE for emotional and social learning, developed through two showcases:

  • one on anti-bullying education
  • one on intercultural empathy

The dissemination of results from this project could have a significant impact on approaches to social and emotional learning; improving quality and innovation in learning technologies; determining approaches to combat bullying and support conflict resolution; and potentially improving the quality of life in European schools.