4 eLearning Design Strategies when Using Animated Digital Characters

April 16, 2014 Audrey Dalton

Learning interactions are essentially social, but eLearning courses are frequently lacking social intelligence and emotional impact. In one study, The Benefits of Interactive Online Characters (2004)1, Byron Reeves concluded that simulating a social exchange and enhancing the environment with an interactive character leads to an increase in memory and trust of information. Additionally, he found that the degree of character interactive character interactivity leads to heightened realism improving the value of the learning and interaction. 

While you can use other methods such as audio, static avatars, and conversational text to create a socially intelligent context, animated characters advance the interaction and provide opportunities to create immersive learning scenarios. Immersive environments create emotional linkages that help the audience tune in, remember, and learn from their "experience".

Animated characters easily lend themselves to these environments while simulating human-like gestures and expressions that motivate your audience to live the scene versus watch the scene. Combine interactive characters with intuitive and unique ways to progress through the course and you've created experiential learning that will be memorable and effective.

In this guide, we’ll cover the components you should consider when designing with digital animated characters:

  1. Casting – Role Types and Personas
  2. Setting the Stage – Backgrounds
  3. Building a Sense of Presence – Props and Effects Delivery –
  4. Desktop to Mobile

About the Author

Audrey Dalton

Audrey holds nearly 10 years of B2B/B2C sales, marketing, and communications experience. She manages the content strategy and development for multimedia campaigns and digital marketing programs at CodeBaby. She also has wistful aspirations to be a globetrotting mega DJ.

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