Avatars Aren’t Just for Video Games Anymore

By Delora McQueen
Business Department
Delaware Technical Community College
Terry Campus

I really enjoy teaching online courses and I am always looking for ways to make them more personable and engaging. I was developing a lesson plan for my online Training and Development course that focused on technology based training methods as the main objective for the week. I recalled learning about a free app called Tellagami in one of my IDT courses that is used to easily create avatars.

An avatar is a computer depiction of humans that can be used as imaginary coaches, co-workers, and customers in simulations and various forms of technology based trainings. The use of an avatar in training was one of the methods that the students would learn about, so I thought, why not demonstrate for the students what an avatar is by utilizing it for instruction.

I remembered from my class how simple it was to create the avatar using Tellagami, and I still had it on my IPad so I decided it would be worth the time. I was able to create an image that somewhat depicted what I look like (without the glasses) in a matter of minutes. I was then able to record up to 30 seconds of speech so that the students could hear my voice portrayed through the visual character.

When I realized that what I had to say would take more than 30 seconds so I decided to upgrade to 90 seconds for $.99. I must say that it was well worth it, because 90 seconds was just enough time for me to summarize the lesson objectives for that week, provide directions, explain some terms and even provide a bonus question at the end. From there, all I had to do was upload it to YouTube and embedded it in the week’s lesson plan. To ensue that students actually watched the video, I let them know about the bonus question at the end.

I was pleased to see that all the students followed directions and were able to provide an answer to the final bonus question. All in all, I was pretty satisfied with my Tellagami app creator because it was free (with the exception of the $.99 upgrade), simple and fun to make, and it only took me about 10 minutes to create and upload into the course. (A live action video would have taken me much longer.)

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