Since many years, learning professionals have been looking for various ways to gain the benefits of eLearning to give the learners a lively classroom experience. Indeed many techniques such as the use of various types of media that delivers text, audio, video, image, animations etc., have been used to accomplish this. Among these, the latest development in eLearning is the use of character simulation.
Character simulation is the representation or enactment of a person or character that can interact, mentor and guide the learners throughout the course. The characters used can be similar to the company’s employees, subject matter experts or can be a fictional character. The idea of character simulation in eLearning is to involve the learner in a social experience, to give the learner a human touch and to make the eLearning come alive.
Characters in eLearning can be used for the following purposes:
- To make the course engaging: Learners may sometimes find the content to be very technical, dry and boring and so they may skip such content without reading. Characters help the learners get engaged and remain entertained throughout the course so that the learners can understand the content without missing any important information. For example, presenting compliance training guidelines will be monotonous and this can be changed using characters.
- To build the personal connection with the learners: When the learners see a human-like figure, they tend to follow him and listen to him carefully. Characters or avatars establish a social relationship with the learners and take them through the course efficiently. For instance, a classroom scenario can be shown to teach a given topic where the learner sees himself as a part of the class.
- To simplify the complex content: People tend to recall and easily remember content that is visually rich rather than the content that is heavy in words. Characters could be of great help in simplifying complex content and reinforce learning. For example, a character that best suits your content, such as an “Ant”, can be used to explain the supply chain process.
- To make the learning interesting: If a learner needs to be told about something such as how to handle sales objections or if communication skills have to be taught, then these characters could be of great help.For instance, an avatar can be used to explain a process or steps in a given procedure, simplifying the complicated concept and making the learning interesting.
Character simulation is emerging as a key tool and approach to high-impact eLearning. A well-designed character can not only help the learners to get involved and engaged in learning but also create appealing and interactive eLearning courses.
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