Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ms. Raptivity Talks about Characters

In an earlier post, I discussed the importance of interactivity in eLearning. This time, I thought we’d interact with one of our Raptivity characters to get the inside or “out of the box” (yes, she’s from our latest Evolve interactions) story about characters.

Today, Ms. Raptivity will help us understand characters and provide tips on ways to use them in your eLearning.

Author:Welcome Ms. Raptivity and thank you for joining us today.

[caption id="attachment_1812" align="aligncenter" width="160" caption="Ms.Raptivity from Character Dialog"]Ms.Raptivity from Character Dialog[/caption]

Ms. R: You are welcome and thanks for inviting me. I am glad to be here.

Author: I understand you are one of the new characters in the Raptivity Character Dialog. Can you tell us about yourself?

Ms. R: I would be happy to. Well, I am one of the new characters in one of our latest Evolve interactions, Character Dialog. My purpose is to add a “human touch” to your online training.

Author: Can you tell us what a character is?

Ms. R: Sure. An animated character like me engages learners and draws them into the eLearning experience. I’ve been used in various ways as an avatar, a presenter, a role player, and—my favorite—a story teller

There are many types of characters. Human characters—men, women, and children—are the most common. We vary by age, looks, clothing, ethnicity, and gestures or postures to make your training look personal and real. In Character Dialog, there are 17 different characters in different poses.

We are posed without a background so that you can place us in any scene. We are also duplicated in different poses and multiple angles that you can use to create movement in your scenes.

And, we can have speech bubbles with or without audio to interact with the learners.

Author: So, are characters only human?

Ms. R: Oh no. You can turn any object into a character. For an example of non-human characters interacting, watch the Debate video between Flash and HTML5 technologies

For a more personal touch, you can even use your own external pictures and turn them into characters!

Author: How or when do I use characters?

Ms. R: Great question! You can use them many ways, including:

  • Avatar

  • Presenter

  • Role Player

  • Story Teller

An avatar—coach, co-worker, instructor—guides a learner through a class. This character directly interacts with the learner. “I am Ingrid—your inline skating instructor! Today, we’ll put on our skates, stand up, stop (without falling), turn-around, and take off our skates. Are you ready? Let’s begin.”

A presenter—teacher, news anchor, architect—does just that—presents the eLearning material. This character interacts with tools of their trade. The teacher is in a class room writing main points on a blackboard. The news anchor reads copy as a TV plays in the background. And, the architect at a construction site points to the details of a drawing to discuss the features of the new building.

A role player—job applicants and interviewer—plays a part in a scenario. These characters interact with each other.  The learner may be asked to point out how the job applicants could answer a question better. Or, the learner may be asked to point out the questions the interviewer should not have asked.

A story teller—the Indian chief, sage, boss—shares a tale with the learners. This character talks directly with the learners. The story teller may be an authority figure who knows a lot on the subject at hand.

Author: Wow, that’s a lot of ways to use characters.

Ms. R: Yes, and they can be instructionally very effective too. But believe it or not—sometimes they get used incorrectly.

Author:  Tell me more.

Ms. R: I’d love to but now I must jump back into the Character Dialog in Raptivity before they miss me.

If you have more questions for Ms. R, send them along to info@raptivity.com or enter them in the comments below. We’ll ask her these questions in a future post on characters.


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