The Jubilee Academy
Saturday, 23 May 2015 10:11
The Importance of Characters in Online Homeschooling
by Mimi Rothschild
Online homeschooling courses that are emotionally compelling are the most engaging. These are the type of courses we create for our Christian homeschooling curriculum. Adding characters to an online homeschooling course can make a big difference in the engagement factor. Regardless of who the students are, characters have the same unique effect of increasing realism and reliability.
1. We start by creating a character profile and a script.
Before proceeding to integrate characters in an online homeschooling course, we devise a plan of who the character will be and what will be the mode of interaction with the subject matter. We accomplish this goal by designing a profile that clearly states the traits of this character, its mannerism, the tone it will be using and even the back story behind it. A script has to be written in advance to ensure that we have reached the learning objectives for the online homeschooling course. We hire outstanding writers who are well versed in the subject matter we are presenting.
2. Roles Characters Play
Our instructional designers decide on the role your character is going to play. Characters in our online homeschooling courses play a wide range of roles. They are either the narrator or the guide for a course when you want the students to be taken through the online homeschooling course in a more exciting, entertaining and engaging way. The character sometimes poses questions that get your students to think about the specific module. We also have the option of having the character point out tips or key points to ensure that the learning process is more captivating. With all these options at our disposal you should have a clear plan of what role the character will adopt.
3. Selection of the character image should be wise
The characters used in online homeschooling courses are portrayed in the form of animations, photos, cartoons, or even as real people as is the case for webinars. Our choice of the image to use as a character should be a prudent one as this will heavily impact the effectiveness of our online homeschooling course. For example, a character for our Intro to Business online homeschooling course could be dressed in a polished and professional business attire.
4. Our Instructional Designers Conduct Research on your audience to align your character’s dialogue and personality.
Our target audience is always taken into consideration while selecting the character.The characters appearance as well as the tone that they will use as these should be in line with the audience. We research any technical terms that may bused to grant authenticity to the situation. The tone that is desired and other significant points are reviewed and critiqued. Our students must be able to relate to to our characters.Stereotypical or archetypal personalities in a given subject are integrated into our character’s portfolio to make it more real. This has the effect of making the character recognizable as well as helping the learner to easily connect with the subject matter in a better fashion.
5. The audio should be realistic and relevant.
Our instructional designers often include audio in our online homeschooling courses. Character dialogue or narration should always be as relevant and realistic as possible. The character speaks in a way that is natural and fitting for a particular environment. Diverging into tangents will only distract the student from the important pieces of information which they need to acquire. We hire the services of a professional voice over actors whose narration of scenes make the course more real and powerful.The key thing to keep in mind when our instructional designers are developing and integrating online homeschooling characters is that they must have an additive effect to the learning experience. They should not be a distractor to the learner from the intended objective or subject matter.