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A virtual character for face to face interaction with children in e-learning

: Foroughi, R.; Rieger, T.

Shepherd, D.:
Creative engagements: Thinking with children
Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2005 (At the Interface - Cutting-Edge Research 31)
ISBN: 1-904710-31-X
Global Conference "Creative Engagements - Thinking with Children" <2, 2005, Oxford, England>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IGD ()
learning environment; learning process; anthropomorphic avatar; virtual character

In the past few years advancements in internet and communication technologies have contributed to reaching new frontiers in distance and online education. In the context of asynchronous learning, despite the increasingly improved features and infrastructures, these environments often remain uninspiring and too serious to provide a suitable learning environment for children. In this paper we present the integration of a virtual character into an asynchronous learning platform that interacts with children during their learning process, providing them with personal greetings and useful feedback messages and real time information on their learning performance. This feature can be considered as a complementary element aiming to compensate for lack of face to face contact with the teacher. The presence of this talking virtual human apart from providing a fun element, serves in provoking motivation and in praising children on their learning success. In realizing this work, current standards in the area of computer supported instructions have been taken into careful consideration in order to comply with the architectural requirements and common data exchange between content and runtime environment. This ensures reusability and ease of integration of our virtual character in any standard conform learning environment. The paper will discuss the pedagogical impacts and educational benefits of this work in the context of children education and will also provide an insight into Learning Management Systems, common standards in the area of E-learning and their importance for this work.