Design-A-Plant is a knowledge-based learning environment project to investigate interactive problem-solving with animated pedagogical agents within the design-centered learning paradigm. With Design-A-Plant, students learn about botanical anatomy and physiology by graphically assembling customized plants that can thrive in specified environmental conditions. The Design-A-Plant work focuses on: dynamically sequencing the explanatory behaviors of animated pedagogical agents, user modeling and artifact-based task modeling, focusing learners' problem-solving activities, cognitive modeling of learning tasks, and increasing the believability of animated pedagogical agents.
The Design-A-Plant learning environment is inhabited by an animated pedagogical agent that provides problem-solving advice to students. Design-A-Plant's agent is Herman, a bug-like character that performs a variety of entertaining actions as it supplies advice to students when they solve design problems (c.f., [Stone & Lester1996, Lester & Stone1997]).