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Character Simulation – A Way to Add Human Touch to Your Elearning Courses

Communication and interaction are the key features between learner and trainer, to enhance the quality of learning. These features are the major benefits of the classroom training, as the learners get immediate support and help from the trainers. Do you think it will be possible to bring that sense of connection and interactivity into your elearning? If yes, how do you achieve it?

Character simulation (avatars) can be a way through which you could bring the sense of connection and interactivity, into your elearning. The main idea of character simulation is to involve the learner into a social experience. It uses a simulated person who guides and Communicates with the learner, throughout the training. The character can be a general persona or a familiar personality like the CEO, a client or a well-known expert.

Avatars and actors are used to emulate characters, which represent humans in an online environment. You can use any of the above mentioned three examples, to describe your character. This way you can provide an interactive course, by adding the essence of classroom training into elearning, to the learners.

Now let’s look at some of the ways to design and use characters in elearning.

Naming the Characters

The first step when designing characters in elearning, is to name them. Name each and every character you are using through the training, rather than just presenting the image. This enables the learners to easily identify and recognize them. Ensure the name suits the image. To do this first know the purpose of using the characters in the course. Name them accordingly, or else the overall impact of the character is reduced.

For example, take a course that provides information on a checkweigher machine, used to weigh different products. As the context here is all about weighing, the character is given a name Gram, so that it gives a clear picture to the learners about the course and engages them throughout.

Story to Keep Learners Exited

Learners find the training even more effective and interesting, if you present it in the form of a story, or a theme. You need to just involve the people that they meet, as characters in the story. By doing so, you can improve relationships with clients, enthuse learners and encourage creativity within your teams. Make sure that you include a story that supports the content and that it does not take the focus away from what’s being taught.

For example, take a course that trains the HR managers on the process of recruiting. All the processes, which the managers have to follow, is designed in a story format. The course is narrated in the form of a story, by using a character named Joe. The objectives of the course have been clearly narrated by that character, so that the learners can understand it even more effectively. This way you can provide the required excitement for the learners, to engage them with the learning content.

Real Life Scenarios

Place the characters that the learners can easily relate to. Real life scenarios help them to focus on what is being taught enabling the learners to relate to the character. These scenarios can be a powerful means of communicating the message to the learner. See that you do not lose sight of the learning objectives, when creating scenarios for the characters.

For example, take a sales training course, which trains the sale people on basic selling skills. In this course, characters named as Bob and David has been created as junior and senior sales persons. Bob faces some problem selling the medical equipment, to a hospital administrator. His problem gets solved by David, senior salesperson who guides him about the selling process. This way characters help learners better understand the processes.

Hope you now know the ways of character usage in learning. These characters support and interact with the learners, providing the best learning outcomes. These enable elearning developers, to create engaging and exciting content for the learners. Finally, a well-designed character might become your secret weapon to improving performance.

Instructional Design Strategies to Design Engaging eLearning Courses