Types of Characters used in e-Learning

What types of Characters can we use in our e-learning courses? How can we use them effectively? Do photographic Characters have a greater impact than a cartoon figure?

I became interested to learn more about this topic especially after checking Weekly challenge nº18. I searched the web trying to find some guidelines. Starting from the basics, I created a short presentation, with some comments about the main characters used in e-learning: doodles, pictograms, humanoids, icons, silhouettes, cliparts and people cut out images.

Click on the image below:

Characters_used_elearning-v2You can download this presentation from SlideShare

What I learned about this topic is that there are no fixed rules when choosing a character for our online course, it depends among other things; on the type of content, the learner’s needs, and the budget we have. However, after reading some blog posts, I’d like to highlight some personal conclusions:

  • Characters are used to illustrate a concept or to engage the learners; providing them guidance and feedback.
  • Simple characters like doodles, humanoids or pictograms, work great to represent abstract concepts, processes and instructions, because learners focus on the information rather than on the character’s details.
  • Silhouettes are good option to create contrast and stand out an object or a character. They’re also race neutral so we can add them if our content must respect diversity.
  • Cliparts have evolved from the first styles similar to pictograms, to the more detailed images that we can find today. Like any other vector image, their versatility to be customized makes them a good option to create something quickly.
  • Cut out people in different poses and expressions, are ideal to appeal to the emotions, and to work on behavioral changes.

Resources I used:

Flat-book template by Tom Kuhlmann

Images source is mentioned at the end of the presentation.

Learn more:

Video: Characters in e-Learning by Tara Bryan



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