Affable Reading Tutor (ART) is a simulated peer in computer-based reading instruction for children in grades 4 and 5 who start reading to comprehend. Based on the effectiveness of peer tutoring in classrooms, ART demonstrates the use of questioning strategy for comprehending expository texts so children model after ART’s strategy use. ART also can help reduce children's cognitive load while reading by providing interactive scaffolding.
The classroom experiment with ART resulted that children who worked with ART significantly increased their reading comprehension both in immediate and delayed posttests. Children who took the lesson without ART did not show this increase. Boys liked a robotic peer better; girls liked a human-like peer better. In case of boys, there was a negative relationship between their likeness of the peer and their performance.