MAXIMIZING THE USE OF AVATARSTO MAINTAIN YOUR LEARNERS’ ATTENTION                             www.livingactor.com
Presentation Outline• A Few Words About Me• Why an Avatar in e-learning?• Case Study: Le Louvre Museum Avatar• Four Avatar...
My BackgroundThe Author  • Audio Producer at Radio France  • 3D Artist in Video Game Industry  • Inventor and Patent Holde...
Why an Avatar?Avatars can maintain user attention on an e-learning applicationInteractions among human beings are made of ...
E-learning Case Studies   3 examples of classic types of e-learning modules   Interactive Coach                           ...
Building the Avatar’s PersonaThe avatar is characterized by 5 primary social cues  Five primary type of social cues cause ...
Case StudyDominique Vivant- Denon on the Le Louvre Web Site  For young Web users, Dominique Vivant-Denon embodies the firs...
The Visual AppearanceThe avatar is characterized by its appearance  The first impression immediately determines the way us...
The Visual Appearance, Cont.Dominique Vivant-DenonMain Visual Aspects  • Cartoonish Style: He represents the first directo...
The BehaviorBehaviors and Emotions  Body movement comprises 55 per cent of non verbal communication (Merhabian, 1971) Main...
The Behavior, Cont.Dominique Vivant-DenonMain Behavioral Aspects  • Very dynamic: contrasts with the calm nature of a muse...
The VoiceVocal parameters give the user confidence in the avatar and give theavatar persuasive power  It’s not what you sa...
User-Avatar-Environment InteractionDominique Vivant-DenonMain components in user-avatar-environment interaction  • Uses th...
User-Avatar-Environment Interaction, Cont.The avatar interacts with its environment Main Features to Combine     •   Size ...
Thank You!More Information…  blog.livingactor.com: A Blog Dedicated to Talking Assistants  www.ilhaire.eu: Incorporating l...
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Maximizing the Use of Avatars To Maintain Your Learners’ Attention

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Presentation at SALT conference on March 7th of 2013.

Sustaining users’ attention while they interact with an online application, or when they interact with an e-learning training course, is an important technique that can directly impact the corporate bottom line and the organization's potential for learning. Maintaining attention plays a key role in the design of future learning technologies. This presentation will describe how e-learning modules using avatars may be designed to focus avatar reactions to sustain end-users’ attention states, and how avatar interactions can be designed to create behaviors to encourage end users to participate actively in collaboration platforms and e-learning modules.

A description and definition of avatars and when avatars are most efficient for e-learning will be provided. Case studies of uses of avatars for corporate training will be discussed. Each case study presented will focus on one of the four main features of avatars: visual appearance, gestures & behaviors, voice, and interaction between the avatar and the environment. Finally, current avatar research directions will be provided.

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Maximizing the Use of Avatars To Maintain Your Learners’ Attention

  1. 1. MAXIMIZING THE USE OF AVATARSTO MAINTAIN YOUR LEARNERS’ ATTENTION www.livingactor.com
  2. 2. Presentation Outline• A Few Words About Me• Why an Avatar in e-learning?• Case Study: Le Louvre Museum Avatar• Four Avatar Features that Maintain User Attention• Conclusion
  3. 3. My BackgroundThe Author • Audio Producer at Radio France • 3D Artist in Video Game Industry • Inventor and Patent Holder of Living Actor™ • CEO and President of the company Cantoche Book Contributions: • Agent Culture published by Lawrence Erlbaum in 2004 (chapter "Recruiting a Virtual Employee: Adaptive and Personalized Agents in Corporate Communication") • Human Attention in Digital Environments published by Cambridge University Press in 2011 (chapter "Attention-Aware Intelligent Embodied Agents”).The Company and Living Actor™ Technology • Expert in 3D Full Body Avatars (700 customized avatars created) • More than 300 international clients • Creator of the technology Living Actor™ (www.livingactor.com) Related R&D Projects: • Ilhaire: Incorporating laughter into Human-Avatar interactions. • Humaine: Enabling emotions for Embodied Conversational Agents. • AtGentive: Keeping the attention of the user (short term and long term) on e-Learning applications using avatars. • Affective Avatars: Analyzing emotions in user’s voices and mapping the avatar’s behaviors in real time for web and mobile applications.
  4. 4. Why an Avatar?Avatars can maintain user attention on an e-learning applicationInteractions among human beings are made of emotions and memories The way people interact with technology is the way they interact with each other. (R. Picard, 1995)Humanization encourages the interaction The more the interface is humanized, the more the subjects persist in resolving the exercises which are difficult and/or impossible to finish.(Dubois, 2001)The interaction is judged by the learner as more "natural" and "emotion-rich" Characters can express social roles, emotions, and organized personalities that match learning goals, company brands, and transaction needs. (Reeves, 2003)Avatars allow humanization of the interfaces for memory recall and taskattention An avatar integrated in the user interface creates in the user the illusion to be interacting with the system as if he were communicating with a real person. (Ortiz, 2006)
  5. 5. E-learning Case Studies 3 examples of classic types of e-learning modules Interactive Coach Simulations Personalized Tutors “Prof à la demande “for SFR on mobile phone Mme Michalon (Grumpy) •Inflexible Melle Jeunet (Joly)E-learning modules for SAINT-GOBAIN E-learning modules for DEMOS using 100 avatars •Calm and patient Bernard (Free-style) •The good friend
  6. 6. Building the Avatar’s PersonaThe avatar is characterized by 5 primary social cues Five primary type of social cues cause people to make inferences about social presence in a computing product: Physical, Psychological, language, social dynamics, and social roles (Fogg, 2003) Main Questions to Ask 1. What is the mission of the avatar? 2. Who does the avatar represents? 3. What is the personality of the Avatar? 4. How does the avatar interact with the user? (language, turn taking, application) Data Collection Recommendation • Visual Representation The 4 Main Features • Behaviors • Voice • Interactions with the environment
  7. 7. Case StudyDominique Vivant- Denon on the Le Louvre Web Site For young Web users, Dominique Vivant-Denon embodies the first director of Le Louvre museum and guides them on the site. The avatar encourages them to be curious and teaches them about the Museum and its art collection. • Designed by François Place in 2007. • Animated and empowered using the Living Actor™ technology www.livingactor.com
  8. 8. The Visual AppearanceThe avatar is characterized by its appearance The first impression immediately determines the way users will interact with an avatar and the application (Gard, 2000) Main Features to Combine • Style (Cartoon, Realistic) • Gender • Culture • Colors • Clothes • Accessories
  9. 9. The Visual Appearance, Cont.Dominique Vivant-DenonMain Visual Aspects • Cartoonish Style: He represents the first director of Le Louvre museum • Blue Color: This color was intended to be calming • Use accessories: Helps users to understand an action
  10. 10. The BehaviorBehaviors and Emotions Body movement comprises 55 per cent of non verbal communication (Merhabian, 1971) Main Features to Combine • Facial Expressions • Gaze • Body Language • Behavior Rhythm Ilhaire Project: www.ilhaire.eu
  11. 11. The Behavior, Cont.Dominique Vivant-DenonMain Behavioral Aspects • Very dynamic: contrasts with the calm nature of a museum • Uses Full Body to drive interest • Doesn’t use a lot of facial expressions: He is neutral as a guide
  12. 12. The VoiceVocal parameters give the user confidence in the avatar and give theavatar persuasive power It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it (Dimitrius, 1998) Main Features to play with • The tone of Voice is important to indicating whether the avatatar is depressed, happy, anxious, excited, or something else. • By changing the frequency of the voice, you can change the confidence and the attention of user. • The vocal rhythm is an important aspect to create a dominant or submissive character.
  13. 13. User-Avatar-Environment InteractionDominique Vivant-DenonMain components in user-avatar-environment interaction • Uses the entire space • Has his own space • Interacts with the Web site • Suggests actions to the user
  14. 14. User-Avatar-Environment Interaction, Cont.The avatar interacts with its environment Main Features to Combine • Size of the Avatar • Shots • Position • Presence or absence • Angle of view • Avatar Interactions Sybron Dental e-learning module http://blog.livingactor.com/?p=1087 Gaz de France living actor assistant Http: www.livingactor.com
  15. 15. Thank You!More Information… blog.livingactor.com: A Blog Dedicated to Talking Assistants www.ilhaire.eu: Incorporating laughter into Human-Avatar interactions. www.livingactor.com: Living Actor™ 15-day Free Trial www.livingactor.com Benoît MOREL CEO and President

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