Keys to eLearning Storytelling: Using a Guide Character in Your Online Course Part 4

One storytelling element you can use in eLearning is a guide character, who will engage learners and take them on a learning journey. In today’s excerpt from the Trivantis® eBook, Keys to Storytelling in eLearning, John Mortenson shares some key poses for guide characters, along with tips on creating a guide character even if you aren’t an artist.John is the Online Learning Manager for The Fresh Market, plus a cartoonist with over 10 years of online course development experience—see below for guide examples that he’s illustrated and used in successful training courses:

Key Poses for Your Guide

When you are creating your GUIDE, there are a few standard poses that you’ll want to use often.

guide poses

Here are 5 more advanced poses that can be useful.

more guide poses

How do I create a GUIDE if I’m not an artist?

Okay, at this point you may be thinking, “Wait, I don’t have mad art skillz. How can I make a GUIDE?”

  • Hire a freelance artist.

They need the work. Trust me, I used to be one.

  • Find a GUIDE already created.

You can search libraries in Lectora or from a company like eLearning Brothers or GoAnimate.

  • Try drawing it yourself.

No really. You might surprise yourself. It just takes practice to get a guide right.

  • Be creative.

Creativity can always overcome mediocre art skills.

For example, if you can’t draw, maybe your course GUIDE is trapped in a box for some compelling reason (backstory!) and all you can see are his eyes. That doesn’t require a lot of drawing.

eyes guide

You could take a bunch of photos of a Troll doll, or a high school football trophy... lots of inanimate objects could be GUIDES if you give them personalities. Don’t fence yourself in. Get creative!

To read the rest of John Mortenson’s chapter on creating guide characters, 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 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