One of the most active topics in our community is around using characters in online courses. Whether they’re photographic, illustrated, or animated, and whether you call them avatars, talking heads, on-screen coaches, or pedagogical agents, instructional characters can help connect your learners to the content.
Examples of characters in e-learning
A popular way to use characters in courses is as a virtual host or presenter that guides your learners through the e-learning course.
Using interactive markers and labels you can introduce your learners to a cast of real or fictitious characters.
Video characters can be used to demonstrate conversations and interactive scenarios. The Broken Co-Worker example is a great example of how you can shoot your own video clips for character-based learning.
Have you considered how your characters will communicate? Text-only courses will likely include chat clouds or captions to indicate speech. Audio-based courses can include voice over dialogue, text-to-speech, and even add a video element to simulate a talking character.
Challenge of the week
This week your challenge is to show us how to use characters in e-learning. You can create static slides that show character-based ideas, or build something more dynamic to show the interaction between characters.
You can use Articulate Storyline, Articulate Studio ’09, Articulate Studio ’13, or PowerPoint to show your character-inspired interactions.
- You May Already Own the Tools to Create Simple E-Learning Avatars
- 7 Tips for Better E-Learning Scenarios
- Using photos of real company people in your courses
- Advantages of using characters in e-learning courses
- What do you think of animated avatars in e-learning?
- Customized characters with movements and expressions
- Changing a character's expression on a timeline
- How to choose your course avatar
- Case study using avatars
- Fun with avatars
- Is it possible to have characters talk?
- Getting characters to change state along the timeline
- Building characters with cartoons
- Using custom states to bundle your most-used character poses
- How to create character packs with your own photos and illustrations
- Create your own characters and sets using the PowerPoint drawing tools
- Change state of character in Storyline when dragged over another shape
- How to use the Storyline characters & triggers to build interactive elearning & feedback
- Jeff Goldman has a helpful character chart
Last week’s e-learning job aids challenge
You guys sure dragged out some amazing examples for our last weekly challenge. One of the things I love about these challenges is the way you all bring your own individual touch to each one.
To help stay in character this week, check out the inspirational examples your fellow community members shared in the last challenge:
- David Lindenberg shared a great example of giving learners a choice between taking the formal course or getting the facts from a job aid.
- Ari Avivi shared a blended example that demonstrates one way to incorporate handouts with the online course. Nice work, Ari.
- Joseph Ramanui shared an elegant language training example that features course-based activities and quick reference guides.
- Jenise Cook demonstrated how job aids and resources can support online new hire orientation training with organization charts, office maps, and security policies. Great ideas, Jenise!
- Jeff Kortenbosch created an interactive demo for software training. This is also a great example of how you can mock up ideas for these challenges without having to build out the entire demo. Be sure to download Jeff’s source file that he shared.
What's an e-learning challenge?
The weekly challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. We’ll feature your work and provide feedback if you request it.
Hope your week has character, E-Learning Heroes!