Characters represent people in a course. I usually use them as fake students, taking the course alongside the real students. You can use them in other ways, though, like protagonists in a case.

I use multiple head shots of the same person, expressing different emotions. Here’s Adela:

These images are not included with Skilling. I bought a license to them from a company.

Characters:

  • Do worked examples. Sometimes they make mistakes, and show how they recover.

  • Ask questions. I like students to challenge me, respectfully, of course. Characters model that.

  • Express concern. For example, a character might say they aren’t ready for a programming course, because they’re not a Math Friend. That’s something we can talk about.

  • Model social interaction. Characters help each other, and – politely – question each other.

  • Challenge stereotypes. Asian students might be bad at math, young black women might be excitable geeks… you can make characters be anything you want.

You create characters in the Skilling admin system. Skilling arranges head shots in a grid, like this:

Character grid

The name, like georgina_aha1, is the internal name of the character. Use it to refer to the character in a lesson, exercise, pattern, etc.

The Skilling editor has a special character tag, to add characters into lessons. For example, suppose you wanted this in a lesson.

Ray

You could type this in a lesson:

You can do the project alone, or with one other person. It's best to work with someone else, if you can.
character.
internal_name=ray_talking2
How do we find someone to work with?
/character.
Your instructor will give you a way to talk to other people in your class.

The internal name is the name you gave Ray’s head shot.

Highlights

Questions
Highlights
Pauses