This weeks elearning challenge was to create an anthropomorphic eLearning character. Anthropomorphic means adding human qualities to non-human things, such as animals or inanimate objects.
This challenge came about because years ago, someone in the forums asked for suggestions to make an engaging course on bedbug infestation prevention. The best suggestion that he received was to tell the story from the bedbug’s perspective. I remember seeing that particular post and wishing that I could see the resulting course. Because of my interest in that concept, I decided to make my own bedbug eLearning course.
At first I considered creating a drag and drop interaction, utilizing a moving a magnifying glass to reveal hidden bedbugs. One problem with this idea was that I couldn’t control which part of the magnifying glass revealed the hidden object. The bugs could appear in the lens area, as I wanted, or be revealed as the handle passed by. I decided to have my learners click on hotspots instead. When I set up all of the hotspots, I noticed that although there were only a total of seven reveals, you could add more to the total by clicking the same area multiple times. This occurred even though the triggers and variable indicated it would only count each area once. After playing with the triggers, I tried switching from hotspots to shapes with a 99% transparency, that way I could disable the shape after its first click. That worked well, except a hand cursor was now visible as you hovered the cursor over each shape. With hotspots, you can turn off the hand curser, unfortunately that was not possible with the transparent shapes. Not wanting to give away the answers to my learners, I went back to the drawing board with hotspots. After spending alot of time playing with triggers, I found a combination that worked and wouldn’t allow the counter to go past the number seven.
This project was fun to make because the character makes me smile, but also at times it was frustrating to get all of the triggers working as they should. I find that with the challenges, I come up with an idea and then spend my time thinking about, and experimenting on the best ways to produce the results I’m after. I always end up learning something new. It reminds me of the Thomas Edison quote, “I’ve succeeded in proving 700 ways to NOT make a light bulb.” Here’s my eLearning experiment, I hope you like the final result.