@article { rodrigues19, abstract = {Long distance learning has always faced several challenges in regards to motivation and availability of opportunity for students. While the latter has seen efforts in terms of collaborative and non-traditional learning avenues, such as online courses and virtually hosted classrooms, the former still suffers due to external influences and responsibilities, which in turn lead to an increase in student's disinterest levels. To combat these hindrances, we propose the creation of an intelligent virtual agent based on the Social Regulatory Cycle, to fill the role of a coach in a readily available mobile application. This virtual coach is capable of supporting and adapting to the needs of human students, helping them in their tasks based on their intentions, motivations and feelings. By gathering objective and subjective user data, the virtual coach is able to interpret learning situations of individual users and, with the use of a synthetic character with analogous mannerisms to those of an actual human, help them by modulating their emotional state in the context of the learning process. Preliminary evaluations performed within an online learning environment class showed users continued interest in engaging with the virtual coaches on a regular basis.}, journal = { 2019 8th International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII)}, keywords = {computer aided instruction;distance learning;mobile learning;software agents;virtual reality;nontraditional learning avenues;virtually hosted classrooms;intelligent virtual agent;social regulatory cycle;mobile application;virtual coach;human students;online learning environment class;interactive empathic virtual coaches;long distance learning;Measurement;Task analysis;Mood;Regulators;Three-dimensional displays;Mobile handsets;Appraisal;Interpersonal Affect Regulation;Empathy;Emotion;Virtual Coaching;Intelligent Virtual Agents;Human-Agent Interaction}, month = {September}, pages = {69-75}, publisher = {IEEE}, title = {Interactive Empathic Virtual Coaches Based on the Social Regulatory Cycle}, year = {2019}, author = {Ricardo Rodrigues and Ricardo Silva and Ricardo Pereira and Carlos Martinho} }