Using avatars in the e-learning space can be an engaging way to guide students through their online experience. Research from Stanford University indicates just how effective this approach can be. Codebaby is one of several available software packages that has the ability to generate an avatar character that “speaks” and gestures inline with a narrator. This ability was recently employed to guide students through online aspects of a GippsTAFE course on suicide awareness. Not only did the avatar introduce and explain much of the content but he also introduced and facilitated the format of the online experience.
Other examples of the potential of the software are available on the Codebaby site. One of the challenges of using avatar software is to choose a character that will most easily and effectively gain acceptance with your audience. Most of the charters currently available are from the mainstream and more appropriate to white collar applications. However over time the range (and their dress options) are bound to expand. Helpful links on using avatars in education include: