Avatars are fictional characters that are increasingly being used in eLearning today. What was earlier confined to eLearning programs targeting kids, is now making inroads into adult training programs. In the course of developing several eLearning courses, we noticed that learners found courses that had avatars more engaging, and a better learning experience.
Depending on the learning requirements, avatars can be imaginary coaches, a presenter, an expert, the client or the trainee. It is a very helpful means of forming a relationship with learners. Avatars are particularly useful while developing certain types of courses.
Soft Skills Training: For example, if you are developing a course on selling skills or communication skills, and would like to demonstrate what NOT to say or do while communicating with the other person, it is easier to take the help of an avatar and demonstrate “THE DON’TS” instead of instructing in second person what could be offensive to an adult learner.
Compliance Training: Compliance trainings, regulatory training or code of conduct training are some of the mandatory courses that are necessary for learners to assimilate content accurately, as they need to apply this knowledge to their jobs. These are not something that employees look forward to or find interesting. However, by using Avatars for such eLearning courses, dry, abstract or complex subjects could be made fun, making it easier for learners to understand and retain the content in a way that has a positive influence on their job.
Process Training: Process, safety, sales process or lean training involves explaining complex processes that require high levels of concentration. Sharing the text-heavy content using an avatar breaks the monotony and adds a virtual human touch to reinforce the subject. It also helps learners to better engage with the content, and helps them maintain their focus on the topic.
In short, avatars provide the excitement required for learners to engage with the learning content and thus are very effective in attaining learning objectives. As they can be easily modified and changed depending on the learning requirement, they prove to be more cost-effective. Avatars are an effective visual aid that help in assimilation and retention of knowledge. Do you agree with this statement? Do share your experiences.