#dl09-107 How to Effectively Incorporate Avatars in e-Learning session notes

The three Rs of avatars are:
Added Rs
Role playing
An avatar is a computer user's representations of himself.herself or alter ego????(wikipedia).
Dabble in Second Life if you are interested in using avatars in your elearning.?? It is a good quick way to acclimated to avatars.
Why incorporate avatars??? Learner is:?? immediately engaged, relates to the avatar(s), and Learner's retention increases
Role of Avatars
Help the learner
Provide immediate feedback
Reinforce important points
Bring eLearning to life
Serve as mentors
Become the learner's friend
It's important to think about long term cost when thinking about avatars:?? animated vs real, celebrity voice vs anybody's – just a few things to think about
Responsibilities of an avatar
Enage the user
Reinforce the content
Be likeable, friendly, human
Relate to the target audience
Relationship of an avatar
Increase user interaction
Provide user feedback
Relate to the user on a personal and professional level
Present life stories/case studies to the user for real life examples
Creating the Avatar
Step 1:?? Brainstorm Based on Target Audience
Speech patterns
Technical Specifications:?? more than 1?
Step 2:?? Character Design and Sketch
Instructional designers and creative teams work to develop avatar's appearance
Don't do any clothing trends or fads as things change
Step 3:?? 3D Modeling
Think about what tool you want to use.?? Is there a school that teaches people to use the tool you want to use?
A lot of modelers are male.?? They would pick clothing that wouldn't work in all positions that the avatar might be put in – like a blouse that is too low cut when the avatar bends forward.?? So it is important to think about all of the positions that an avatar will need to be in and ensure that the avatar has all of the joints it needs to do the positions and all of the need facial expressions.
Step 4:?? Develop the voice over script
Stay away from accents (foreign and regional)
Step 5:?? Animation
Use mirrors to emulate action.?? Have someone act it out and replicate the natural movement.
Step 6:?? Integration
Just saw a demo of a 3D version of an avatar in an elearning module.?? Pretty interesting!
This??session was a good overview of avatars and their use, but a little too basic for me.?? I needed something a bit more technical.?? Not the presenters' faults.

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