A photo/avatar paints a thousand preconceptions?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  ilearninguk 6 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #8393

    guy saward

    Was interested to see all the pictures lined up for the check in badge as I wanted to see who I might know.

    And being a bear with little concentration, was taken by the outdoor nature of some of the pics (mine included!) and wondered what it said about me/annehole/andy_coulthard/c-collis/neobadwolfone/scapoc/tonyw etc

    Brings to mind the young scientist facebook avatar project from a couple of years back http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/sywtbas/2010/nina/. I wonder if anyone knows if this has been followed up / used / done for Moocs!

  • #8411

    guy saward

    Maybe there is a research project in this! Things to think about might be …
    – are more personal avatars (actual photos at one extreme vs blanks at the other) correlated with engagement
    – are reused avatars (shared with other external social media etc) a sign of digital residents vs visitors
    – are people with outdoor photos more likely to be looking out the window 😉

    Too many things to think about, too little time!

  • #8416

    guy saward

    And as a follow-up to this, an interesting looking paper to start things off …

    Avatars in social media: Balancing accuracy, playfulness and embodied messages, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 66, Issue 11, November 2008, Pages 801–811


  • #10755

    Paul Rettey

    Hi Guy,

    Mine is a deliberate redesign to see if anyone paying attention! There is also a hint of psychology in there to anchor on the  ‘guess what, I wear glasses’ motif. It’s also bit of fun, remember the two ronnies opening sequence?



    • #11796

      guy saward

      I thought it very stylish, full of gravitas and intelligent/learned overtones – though now you mention the two ronnies (not my first thought) that’s all out the window 😉

  • #12227


    I had a thought to team up with the photography students at our college and offer a portrait session for staff and students that could be used on social media and the VLE. Most staff have no photo uploaded to our VLE so when students look at the staff profile they just see an egg. I like outdoor pics but they are often not well lit if the light is too strong or too dull – try taking one on a bright but overcast day. Inside shots can look unnatural – mine looks a bit shiny from the flash. A studio shot would be really well lit and professional – good for the VLE

  • #12529

    Rich Goodman

    We try and encourage staff to have a recent picture as an avatar – we’ve found this really helps with students who don’t have regular face to face contact with a tutor as they have told us that it helps them to feel more connected.

    Similarly, these students like to see a tutor if viewing a recorded session, whereas those students who are in regular contact with their tutors prioritise the PC/visualiser output and audio above the video feed of the tutor.

  • #13241

    guy saward

    Thanks Rich and Irene for your thoughts on this.  As ever, shows I need to be thinking more about stuff.  My first take on this was just to have a pic to show students in the VLE and make it the same as the corporate pic.  Another pic, this one here, gets used for social media stuff – but now also work stuff.

    Highlights the issue about managing more than one profile online.


    p.s. this is an abbreviated repeat post as (I think) first disappeared.  Apologies for duplication if it suddenly comes back but then again it had more stuff on it 🙁


  • #13244


    My post is linked to my iLearningUK profile on Twitter, blog and other profiles. I used the hat picture as I always wear a hat to conferences and events as it helps people to identify with the online ‘me’ and the real world ‘me’. I am the man in the hat!

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