The article explores the relation between i) the attitudes of students towards digital pedagogical characters and
ii) their learning style as separate versus connected thinkers, a learning style dimension which regards individual’s approach
towards the social dimensions of knowledge. Ninety 12-15 year old students participated in the study in which
they were presented with a scenario-based multimedia program. In this program the student is to take the role of a journalist
at a magazine that is sent on various missions to European countries in order to conduct article research. The journalist
is accompanied by a digital pedagogical character in the form of a virtual instructor or a virtual learning companion.
After having progressed through the introductory parts of the program, including a module for choosing a visual character
to represent their virtual instructor or learning companion, the students were (among other things) asked about their views
on the idea of using virtual pedagogical characters as an enhancement of learning environment. Furthermore, they were
presented with an option between two digital characters with different communicative styles - one strictly task oriented
and one task and relation oriented and were asked to give motives for their choice. The students were also asked to fill out
a learning style inventory addressing separate versus connected thinking.
The results of the study confirm what has been shown in some other studies, namely that there are considerable individual
differences both in attitudes towards digital characters in digital learning environments and in attitudes towards the social
orientation of such characters, and that these differences in attitudes may be related to various user characteristics. More
specifically, the results of the current study indicate that differences in learning style of the kind assessed in the study belong
among those user characteristics. The results are finally discussed in terms of practical implications for the use and
design of digital learning environments.