Keys to eLearning Storytelling: Using a Guide Character in Your Online Course Part 3

Keys to Storytelling in eLearning - An eBook by Trivantis

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing excerpts from the latest Trivantis® eBook, Keys to Storytelling in eLearning. Today, let’s take a look at a few examples of guide characters that Lectora® user John Mortenson has created for eLearning courses. Along with being Online Learning Manager for The Fresh Market, John is a cartoonist with over 10 years of online course development experience.Here are a few of his training guide examples to inspire your own creativity and eLearning development:

A Few GUIDE Examples

Mr. DNA - Jurassic Park

If you saw the first “Jurassic Park” movie, you probably remember Mr. DNA, a GUIDE in a film that is shown in the visitor center at Jurassic Park. Mr. DNA explains how scientists use DNA extracted from mosquitos trapped in amber to re-create Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs. It is remarkable how quickly and easily Mr. DNA was able to explain a complex scientific process in a 2-minute segment in an entertaining way.


VirGL - Geography 103

VirGL, which stands for Virtual Geography Laboratory, is the name of the GUIDE I developed for a GEOGRAPHY course at UNC Greensboro. Students would sit in the cockpit of VirGL, a sentient space pod, as VirGL flew through the atmosphere and into outer space, or dived to the deepest parts of the ocean, or burrowed into molten rock. These abilities were not just for show; they enabled students to observe geographical phenomenon “firsthand.” VirGL was even able to travel through time, which enabled the learner to see the results of geological processes that take thousands of years. Part of VirGL’s backstory is that he was sent from the future to help today’s students understand geology and climate to prevent a future geological catastrophe.


Multiple GUIDES - Kinesiology 220

In Kinesiology 220, there are a number of GUIDES that interact with students throughout the course. One of the reasons for including multiple GUIDES was to demonstrate that fitness might look different for people with different sizes, shapes, ages, and body types.

multiple guides example

multiple guides example

Master Cannoli - Bakery Production Tool Course

Master Cannoli is the instructor for the Bakery Production Tool course. He is a cross between Buddha and Chef Boyardee, very animated and energetic.

Master Cannoli
Master Cannoli

Master Cannoli
Master Cannoli

Officer Shirley - Food Safety Basic Training Course

Officer Constance Shirley is the head instructor at the Food Safety Academy where she teaches employees how to prevent food-borne illnesses. She is a straight shooter and can be very serious at times. She is part drill sergeant, part Driver’s Ed instructor.

Officer Shirley

TIP: You may notice some of my GUIDES are short in stature. I find that short GUIDES take up less real estate onscreen.

To read all of John Mortenson’s chapter, download the full eBook, Keys to Storytelling in eLearning.In the eBook, you’ll also discover tips for using guide characters successfully in your online courses, along with more valuable chapters on storytelling written by instructional designers, eLearning industry experts—including Diane Elkins of Artisan E-Learning and Rick Zanotti of RELATE—and the Trivantis Team.

Download eBook