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Humanising eLearning using Illustrated Characters

, Bright Sparks, South Africa ; , Shuttleworth Foundation, South Africa

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Vienna, Austria ISBN 978-1-880094-65-5 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


Kusasa, a new open source, constructivist elearning project is to be piloted in South Africa (SA) in April 2008. Two factors prompted the project: a shortage of skilled mathematics and science teachers in SA and an increase in school computer labs. Kusasa aims to develop analytical thinking in grade 4-12 learners through peer-taught software engineering using Squeak. Illustrated characters are protagonists in comic stories for each grade, acting as facilitators of learning sequences (in a Learning Management System) as well as tutorial guides. The characters demonstrate metacognition through the use of soliloquies, provide role models for various attitudes and values that promote analytical, critical and creative thinking, and infuse the human capital and character typical of great teachers into the elearning experience. The paper presents the rationale and design of this novel approach to a constructionist programming environment designed for learners in a developing country.


Kayton, B. & Vosloo, S. (2008). Humanising eLearning using Illustrated Characters. In J. Luca & E. Weippl (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2008--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 2647-2651). Vienna, Austria: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved June 8, 2023 from .



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