Being lectured by an avatar … what’s not to like?

Bringing this to the attention of the academic community is valuable, if only to forefront the discussion of the value of an academic to the University. An Academic is more valuable than performance during a lecture. I think this also brings up the debate about the purpose of higher education and what it offers, something that can get lost if we think of an academic contribution as a series of lectures and nothing else.  It also highlights the importance of the work on Critical Digital Pedagogy in how we make decisions on how we use the tools we have at our disposal.  Becoming an avatar, in my mind, is not it. 

Critical Studies of EDUCATION & TECHNOLOGY

Even the most innovative new use of digital technology in education comes with potential problems, and unforeseen consequences …


Recent news of lecturers being able to deliver their online lectures in the guise of virtual avatars (rather than appearing on screen as ‘themselves’) raises a host of interesting issues about education and technology.

On one hand, this idea might have obvious appeal to lecturers, their students and employers for a number of reasons:

  • Many lecturers might be keen tonothave to perform for the camera – being freed-up to focus on the pedagogical content of their lessons, rather than worry over their appearance and the pressure to produce slick-looking content.

  • Conversely, many students might find avatar-tutors to be more engaging and less distracting (echoing the idea that students respond better to lectures presented by professional actors than those delivered by professors). The concept of the avatar-tutor also fits…

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