Perhaps there could be hardly anyone who is not fascinated by characters. Such is the impact of characters in our lives that they have got recognition even in the field like eLearning. According to ASTD, characters make learners engage with the learning content and also promote knowledge retention.
These characters could make the whole journey of learning very thrilling and engaging. Let us see how the use of characters in an eLearning course could make learning more appealing.
Used for Engaging
Let me ask you one thing. Do you still remember a few of those stories you heard during your younger age (lot of children prefer listening to stories from parents, grandparents, elders etc.)? I am sure a lot of you do. This could be certainly because of the characters in those stories, and of course, the theme grabbed your complete attention towards the story and got your complete attention.
The same magic of engaging learners could also be created in an eLearning course by using different types of characters in it. In eLearning courses, characters are known as Avatars or Learning Agents, which, through virtual images, resemble human beings with different styles, dresses, mannerisms, expressions and job designations.
Used for Guidance
Most of us are aware of TV programs in which content is presented by the hosts. Some hosts even enjoy a good following of people. Hosts generally present the programs before us in such a way as if they do know us very well. The interesting and important thing about hosts is that – they skillfully emphasize and convey important topics or points in a program at regular time intervals, and yet keep the whole process very entertaining.
In the same way, characters could effectively grab our attention to important points of the course, which we might miss sometimes due to lack of our sharpness in understanding or interest in the content. Characters could be used to attract our attention as well as to guide us throughout the course so that we achieve the maximum benefit from the course.
Could Inspire Learners with Their Style
It is not uncommon for people to get inspired with their role models or successful personalities. Watching these successful people dealing so effectively with difficult situations/problems, observing their effective way of communication, etc., others also like to have such mannerisms and attitudes to tackle different situations of their lives.
Although, characters are used to convey concepts in an interesting and effective way and are not solely incorporated in courses for inspiring learners, but because a character could resemble anyone playing different roles like: boss, student, salesman, supervisor, instructor etc., they also indirectly inspire learners a lot. For example, watching a character (used for representing a public speaker) speaking and communicating in an effective but effortless manner, learners interested in a field like public speaking could naturally get inspired.
A Feeling of Someone’s Company
Generally people find it boring when they undertake to do an online course. They don’t have interaction with peers as like in a classroom. This feature is not in any manner related with the quality of the course, but inclusion of characters in an eLearning course could offer learners with a feeling of someone’s presence and support during the course despite the fact that the presence is virtual. This could help keep the learners’ interested in their course.
Establishes Human Like Emotional Connectivity
What could be our reaction when we see a character, appearing exactly like a real human being playing a role of a manager, trainer, worker, foreman etc., talking and speaking, with facial expressions matching the scenes? Naturally, the feelings involved in the whole scene or scenario would be more realistic and this is a special feature of a course that includes characters.
Using characters in eLearning courses could definitely offer an exciting and engaging learning experience. When the whole world is crazy about characters as they instantly grab people’s attention, how do you feel about the inclusion of characters in eLearning course to make learning more appealing?
Do you have any views regarding this? Please do share your thoughts with us. We would really appreciate to hear from you.