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Although traditional classroom-based teaching doesn't seem to have changed a lot over the years, the online eLearning experience is constantly evolving. Thank you technology! The newest developments are taking place in the immersive learning realm. This includes simulation training like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and virtual worlds.
Gone are the days of the blackboard, and even the days of the whiteboard. More and more organizations are focusing their employee training efforts in the virtual environment. This article explains what immersive eLearning is, why you should use it, and how to go about building an immersive learning experience for your staff.
As mentioned, immersive learning includes simulation training, virtual worlds, VR, AR, and MR. Although they are all considered immersive, the level of immersion they offer learners varies. For example, in VR the user is completely cut-off from the real world while in AR they are only partially so.
Regardless of the specific simulated training method you utilize, in an immersive training environment, the learner is constantly engaged and stimulated to interact with the learning application. This type of learning helps remove distractions and provides real-life enactments. It aids learners to easily absorb new information and acquire new skills faster.
Read also: The Differences Between AR, VR, and MR
Before giving you the tips for creating immersive eLearning courses, we'll tell you a bit about the benefits. An immersive learning experience:
Provides High Emotion-Based Engagement
Keeping human emotions at the center of your course interaction will allow learners to fully engage with the content.
Providing varied scenarios and ways of solving a problem encourages learners to get involved and stay focused on the task at hand.
Uses Contextual Learning
Incorporating multiple perspectives (how others solve an issue versus how an individual learner solves an issue) gives context to your content.
Empowers Employee Learners
Giving learners the freedom of choice empowers them to take their learning experience into their own hands. This builds self-confidence and focus.
Removes Fear of Failure
Since the course is experienced in a virtual environment, fear of failure is nonexistent. This allows learners to relax and focus on trying their best without being pressured into passing on the first try.
Without further ado, here are our tips for creating immersive eLearning courses:
The first step in the immersive course development process is deciding on the best platform on which to run the program. You'll need to assess learning needs and align them with your business goals. The learning environment you create is highly dependent on the platform's capabilities. So, choose carefully!
Before you start churning out design and content ideas, you need to set a plan in place. A wireframe is like a skeleton for your course. This skeleton will provide support for building increasingly more detailed and complex interactions and gameplay.
Yes, the devil's in the details, and details are important. To make the virtual world look and feel real, you'll need to make sure your object modeling is up to par. Shaders, textures, and lighting play a crucial role in designing a realistic artificial reality.
If the characters and the interaction with them do not feel natural, learners will start losing interest. It is not important to mimic the movement and facial expressions in extreme detail. But, it is important that your characters have realistic reactions in order to make them believable to the user.
We mentioned above that giving players various choices is important for maintaining engagement. When designing your immersive learning experience, make sure you plan for flexibility and adaptability. You need to be able to make fast changes when needed, without losing overall quality or value.
Before your set deployment date, invite a group of interested learners to test out your application. They can provide valuable insight into what is working, what is not working, and what can be improved.
At this point, you are ready to deploy. Depending on the platform you chose to build your immersive learning game on, you might need very specific authorization tools. You can look into this in the final stages of development.
Creating an immersive learning environment requires research, surveying your staff, planning, collaborative work, and a clear vision. Ensure your project evolves in the desired direction by keeping in mind the following principles:
Inspire learners to connect emotionally
Provide reality-based scenarios
Focus on narrative storytelling
Allow for personalized learning paths to expand
Ensure learners outline focused learning goals
Creative immersive eLearning courses are the next step in the evolution of online learning. It can be challenging to start such a big project from scratch. Thus, depending on your business and learner objectives, a seasoned professional instructional designer is always the right person for the job. Contact us for a free quote or find more information about immersive learning on our free resources page.