Characters in E-Learning

Characters in E-Learning #18: Challenge | Recap

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

Presenter character

A popular way to use characters in courses is as a virtual host or presenter that guides your learners through the e-learning course.

View the character host example

Interactive Characters

Using interactive markers and labels you can introduce your learners to a cast of real or fictitious characters.

Interactive Characters

View the interactive character example

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.


Forum discussions


Additional resources

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:

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!

Christopher Lind
David Lindenberg
Kimberly Valliere
Jonathan Atleson
Jonathan Atleson

Rebecca's example of selecting a team reminded me of something. For what it's worth, here is a rejected pitch we tried for an Inclusion and Diversity course in Flash some years ago. In a triumph of word choice, the client Branding guru deemed the treatment to be "grotesque" and insisted we use photographic avatars, preferably happy. In this sequence of images, you can see the learner assembling an avatar to express an individual collection of diversity characteristics. I called this a "Diversatar." Hopefully, the learner would identify with their personal Diversatar without having to deal with actual sensitive diversity characteristics like race or gender. The body parts were adapted from the client's various networking equipment. Then the character was put into a scene in which they we... Expand

Jeff Kortenbosch
Ridvan  Saglam