|Avatar by Melissa Clark|
Clearly, the benefits of using avatars in e-learning seem to be overwhelming. One should expect to find them everywhere. Why, then, do several course designers avoid using avatars?
Here are the top 4 reasons, according to Janhavi Padture, Director - Learning Solutions at Harbinger Knowledge Products.
- Avatars be distracting or even annoying if not used properly or when used excessively
- They do not mimic human-like natural expressions, movements or lip synchronization
- Sometimes an avatar simply does not fit in the user experience
- Avatars are Often expensive to build and difficult to customize!
- Give course authors (and possibly learners) the ability to customize the avatar.
- Make the avatar instructionally relevant – it should fulfill the interactivity needs of a learner.
- It should augment content, not be the content.
- Avatar should support 2-way interaction. It is not just a video or a cartoon. It responds to the learner's needs and provides helpful guidance.
- Wherever it makes sense, allow learners to turn off avatars if they want to. For example, if a learner is revisiting a 'How to’ instructions page, this will help.
- Last but not the least, avatar should be used for a specific purpose, such as online guide, answering FAQ, explaining a process, guiding learners during branching scenarios, etc.