Incorporating Virtual Reality Content, Tools, and Devices into Learning Solutions

Incorporating Virtual Reality Content, Tools, and Devices into Learning Solutions

The concept of virtual reality dates as far back as 1938 when Antonin Artaud, a French director, and actor, referred to theater objects and characters as “la réalité virtuelle” in his essay collection called “Le Théâtre et son double”.  The English translation of this book, published in 1958 as The Theater and its Double, is the earliest published use of the term “virtual reality” (Artaud,1958).

Using Existing Content

Think about the use of existing virtual reality content in education.  Limitless possibilities await Instructional Designers/Developers.  The opportunities are there.  Instructional Designers/Developers can create learning solutions based around exploration type content that already exists. Much of this content is available free.  Imagine designing/developing learning solutions based around exploring the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC.  Virtual museum tours already exist such as the tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. These tours can be viewed using a mobile device or computer.

Let’s dive deeper and talk about tools and devices that allow users to totally immerse themselves in a 360-degree virtual reality experience.

Designing, Developing and Deploying Virtual Reality Learning Solutions Using Adobe Captivate 2019

With Adobe Captivate 2019’s built-in interactive features designing, developing and deploying realistic virtual reality situations and scenarios is a cinch.  Adobe Captivate 2019’s virtual reality capabilities can also increase productivity by decreasing the amount of time it takes to complete a VR project.  Interactive elements such as hotspots can add to learner engagement.  For more information on how to use Adobe Captivate 2019’s virtual reality features view the article “Adobe Captivate (2019 release) and Immersive learning with VR experiences” by Pooja Jaisingh (Senior Learning Evangelist) it is a helpful and insightful resource.

Popular Virtual Reality Devices for Content Playback

There are several devices on the market today that will allow playback of virtual content.  We will touch on a couple of these devices below.

Samsung’s Gear VR with Controller

In today’s world of technology, virtual reality is most recognized with products such as Samsung’s Gear VR with Controller which has a consumer cost at around $129.99 at Samsung.  When Gear VR is paired with a Smartphone such as the Galaxy S9+, Galaxy S9, Galaxy Note8 and more, the experience is awesome.  The user is immersed in a 360-degree world.  Also, the current Gear VR model weighs 0.76 lbs (without the Smartphone).  The Samsung Gear VR with Controller has been identified as a product for playing games and viewing movies.  This tool would be great to use in an exploration type learning solution as well.  There does not seem to be an educational type of package offered in any way for the Gear VR with Controller.  Google on the other hand does, so we now will take a look at Google Cardboard.

Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard is the most economical way to provide learners with that great virtual reality immersive experience.  Build your own viewer using everyday items (download the kit) or take advantage of one of Google’s certified viewers.  Just pair it with your smartphone.  Also, choose from a variety of low-cost Google viewers.  However, keep in mind that purchasing kit bundles such as Google’s Expeditions kits come at a high price.  The kits are priced according to the number of registered students. For example, at Best Buy kits range in prices between $4,750.99 and $10,499.99.  Also, there is the Google Daydream View Headset which we will not go into the details of in this article.

References and Resources:

Antonin Artaud (1958), The Theatre and its Double Trans., Mary Caroline Richards. (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1958).

Google Cardboard, Get your Cardboard. Retrieved from https://vr.google.com/cardboard/get-cardboard/

Pooja Jaisingh (2018), Adobe Captivate (2019 release) and Immersive learning with VR experiences, Published August 22, 2018.  Article retrieved from https://elearning.adobe.com/2018/08/adobe-captivate-2019-release-and-immersive-learning-with-vr-experiences/?sdid=LLVYTFD5&mv=display

Samsung, Samsung’s Gear VR with Controller, Information retrieved from https://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/virtual-reality/gear-vr/gear-vr-with-controller–galaxy-note8-edition–sm-r325nzvaxar/

Smithsonian Museum, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Tour, Retrieved from http://naturalhistory.si.edu/VT3/

Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC, Retrieved from https://washington.org/smithsonian-institution-museums?gclid=CMPC3viYnM4CFUFbhgodZ50Bhg

Photo:

Article Photo by Bradley Hook from Pexels, Retrieved from Pexels.com at https://www.pexels.com/photo/sea-landscape-nature-sky-123318/

Wikipedia, Antonin Artaud., Article retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonin_Artaud

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Benefits Of Personalized eLearning – Featuring A Case Study For Instructional Designers

The Impact And Benefits Of Personalized eLearning

Personalized eLearning is customization of eLearning so that it can meet the specific needs of learners.

While the concept of personalization of learning is not new and has been in existence since the 1960s, its adaptation for online training or eLearning is a recent phenomenon. The concept continues to evolve and there is no single definition that is widely accepted. I feel that the United States National Education Technology Plan 2017 defines personalized learning effectively:

Personalized learning refers to instruction in which the pace of learning and the instructional approach are optimized for the needs of each learner. Learning objectives, instructional approaches, and instructional content (and its sequencing) may all vary based on learner needs.In addition, learning activities are meaningful and relevant to learners, driven by their interests, and often self-initiated.”

What Are The Techniques That Can Be Used To Create Personalized eLearning?

Personalization of eLearning is typically done in the following ways:

  1. You could begin the eLearning course by personalization through an avatar-based selection. This could then be followed by customized elements, like themes, fonts, backgrounds, and so on.
  2. Another way to offer customized eLearning is through customization of the format of content deliveryto suit varied learning styles. For instance, options to use audio/video, or otherwise, bring in changes in the degree of interactions, and so on.
  3. The highest degree of customization is at the learning path level that is personalized for each learner through pre-assessments or surveys. For instance,
    • A pre-assessment can help us understand the baseline proficiency, and the learner can be given a personalized learning track that corresponds to the competency gaps.
    • Alternatively, we can use a survey to assess where the learners’ interests lie and then offer a personalized set of recommendations on how to “consume” this module (that is, which parts could be skipped and which should be taken with special attention).

What Are The Approaches That Can Effectively Personalize eLearning?

As I have highlighted, personalized eLearning can be crafted through a variety of measures that can help us customize the learning experience for each learner.

The 2 approaches that are useful in creating an effective personalization are:

Approach 1

Adaptive learning: This approach uses techniques like pre-assessment to offer customized feedback and a specific path to each learner. The advantage of this approach is its ability to match the varied learning proficiencies of learners to the most relevant learning path.

Today, microlearning techniques can be used to provide tremendous granularity to break down the primary eLearning course and offer highly customized or personalized learning paths.

Approach 2

Control to the learner: In this approach, rather than taking control through a pre-assessment, we empower the learner to create their own customized learning path (based on their interests and their own assessment of their proficiency). This approach is increasingly gaining popularity on account of its learner-centricity.

We can integrate checks and balances through assessments to redirect the learners, so that while they get the flexibility, they do not skip the sections they may not be good at.

What Are The Benefits Of Personalized eLearning For The Learners And The Organization?

Instead of a “one size fits all” approach, personalized eLearning uses various approaches to engage the learner more meaningfully, and helps them set and achieve their specific learning goals.

This is not all; personalized eLearning also enables learners to set their own learning paths and gain exactly what they need.

Learners’ perspective: As I have highlighted, personalized eLearning empowers the learners and offers them control through the following measures that allow them to:

  1. Set their own goals.
  2. Set manageable milestones.
  3. Select their own learning path.
  4. Select the device they wish to learn on.
  5. Learn at their own pace.
  6. Select the kind of interaction levels they feel is relevant for them.
  7. Get personalized feedback and use it to assess their progress.
  8. Use the offered recommendations to enrich the learning path.

Organizational perspective: Personalized eLearning provides the following key benefits:

  1. You can use the personalized eLearning approach to promote a culture of learning as a continuum.
  2. You will see better learner commitment and higher completion rates.

What Are The Approaches To Offer Personalized Learning?

At EI Design, over the last two years, we have been adding approaches that focus on crafting learning designs to offer control to learners. Essentially, we want to create learning experiences wherein learners can “pull” what they want rather than be “pushed” into a prescriptive learning journey. The personalization of eLearning is a significant part of this practice.

We have created various approaches to offer personalized eLearning, which map to 4 levels, ranging from simple personalization techniques, including Avatar selection, custom themes, and so on, to highly customized learning paths that offer learners the control to choose the learning interactions that match their interest and learning styles.

Let me share a case study that uses several of these personalization techniques in a training course intended for newly joined Instructional Designers in our team.

  • With personalization, we are now able to scale the usage of our existing training courses to ongoing learning (learning as a continuum).
  • For the learners, personalization provides them the required control to decide on the most effective approach to learn and come back for enrichment.

Case Study

Here’s a short video that showcases a case study on using personalization techniques in a corporate training course to double the impact of learning.

Additionally, I am sharing the highlights of our approach to personalize eLearning.

Before – The Traditional eLearning Approach

Designed to induct and onboard newly joined Instructional Designers into our team at EI Design, we had created a suite of 15 courses. Although, our audience comprised team members with different profiles, the approach mandated that all Instructional Designers needed to go through all the courses. Goes without saying, the approach used the classical “push” model to train rather than enabling the learners to “pull” what they need.

ProductLine - Instructional Design Courses List - EI Design

After – The Personalized eLearning Approach

Using the personalized eLearning approach, we give the control to the learners (new Instructional Designers onboarding with us) who can now craft their own learning path, based on their proficiency.

Personalized eLearning - Instructional Design Courses 2

Highlights Of The Personalized eLearning Approach

  • Create learner-centered goals and objectives.
  • Assess online learners to identify knowledge gaps.
  • Offer timely, personalized eLearning feedback.
  • Provide constant online support.

Features Of The Personalized eLearning Approach At A Glance

  1. Avatar selection/Role selection.
  2. Pre-assessment on topics covered.
  3. Range of educational pathways.
  4. Personalized recommendations/feedback.
  5. Re-directs learners for remediation and for good performance.
  6. Provides resources for further exploration of knowledge.
  7. Learners are informed and empowered.
  8. Assessments are related to meaningful tasks.
  9. Reduces the achievement gap.
  10. Enhanced interaction between individual learners and individual teachers.
  11. Facilitates the “community of learning” approach.
  12. Instead of incorporating a linear navigation map, it offers online learners a clickable guide that features diverse eLearning activities and multimedia.

Personalized eLearning - Instructional Design Courses 1

The Impact

Learners’ perspective: They are fully empowered to design their own personal learning path that works best for them.

Organizational perspective: We can validate their current proficiency and provide support (remediation) as well as personalized feedback. Additional learning resources equip the learners to match the proficiency level that our organization requires. The approach also fosters a strong collaboration (between the peers and with senior managers).

Gains of the personalized eLearning approach for the learners: 

  • Let online learners choose their own eLearning activities and multimedia.
  • Set manageable milestones.
  • Incorporate online resource libraries for asynchronous eLearning.

 

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/benefits-of-personalized-elearning-featuring-case-study-for-instructional-designers/

Dear Instructional Designer

I’m always on the lookout for new knowledge. While generally, this is usually the more technical aspects of being an eLearning instructional designer, I also like to work on my knowledge of adult learning principles and other more foundational and theoretical stuff as well. I have listened to instructional design podcasts before but I’ve quickly become disinterested in many of them. Too often they are opportunities to show off how advanced the host is as they attempt to impress you with their vast knowledge, experience, and sophisticated vocabulary.

I’ve stumbled upon a podcast that really has grabbed my attention. It’s called Dear Instructional Designer. The host Kristin Anthony is an instructional designer who has been broadcasting for about a year and I really like her approach. Instead of trying to impress you with her intellect or how vastly superior she is, she instead focuses on what the new instructional designer needs to get started. Her first episode is about building a portfolio and landing your first job, a topic that is near and dear to my heart.

You can listen to her podcast from her website at https://dearinstructionaldesigner.simplecast.fm/ or you can search for it on whatever podcast aggregator you happen to prefer. I found it on Pocketcast but I imagine you can subscribe to it through iTunes as well.