We’ve noticed that in the past few years, there’s been a significant uptick in interest in immersive e-learning technologies. This includes gamification, game-based learning, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) technologies, among others. That makes sense, because these technologies are the cutting edge of e-learning tech and can be of immense value when used in the right project.
However, we have also come across customers who come to us after having burnt their fingers by diving into AR or VR technologies purely on the basis of the hype.
So let’s think this through…
Scoping a project upfront is extremely important. What is your learning objective? What content do you want to communicate? Would AR or VR technologies really offer you significant value in your pedagogical process?
Start with the learning objective of your e-learning material. What do you need to communicate through the module? Do you need immersive learning tech to optimize the learning delivery process? If you do, to what extent?
Remember, creating AR or VR content is complex – and expensive!
3D character design and content designed for fully immersive learning technology are extremely complex. Talented and highly trained artists are required to craft each scene. As a result, it takes a great deal of time and money to develop each minute detail to make the immersive learning content realistic.
Imagine a virtual reality scene where your learners are walking through a mall. It’s important to realize that every bystander or NPC (non-playing character) you pass takes significant effort to design and animate. And yet, without them, the details are incomplete and the learner is subconsciously taken out of the immersive experience.
This is just one example of how VR is more than just a buzzword. Similarly, 3D animation, augmented reality, gamification and game-based e-learning technologies too are terms that are exciting and ‘in’, but if not used in the right project, they can put a strain on timelines and budgets.
So what are the ‘right projects’ to use immersive tech on?
3D animated videos, augmented reality, gamification and VR technologies can be white elephants when used in the wrong projects. But they can also be game changers when used right. So what does the ‘right project’ look like? We share some examples.
When to use 3D animated videos
This is best used in cases where you need to theoretically train learners on complex subjects with multiple complicating factors. For example, how do you open the heart and replace a valve? You can try explaining this through text or 2D animation, but 3D animation is a much better fit since it allows you to see the organ as a whole, in its real environment, and from different angles.
When to use AR
AR is ideal for cases where you are training users on how to use physical tools, tech and hardware. It also works well for learning in the flow of work. If your learner is wondering how to use a particular tool to repair a certain product, for example, they can simply pull out their mobile device and scan it. Content is overlaid on the image to explain what it is, how to use, when and why.
When to use VR
Full VR technology is expensive. It takes time and money to develop, and learners require specialized hardware to access it. Having said that, VR is great for certain kinds of simulation. For example, think about flight training. A full flight simulator is necessary to train learners on how to react to situations such as turbulence. In this situation, no other technology will work other than VR, as the physical movement can only be simulated by VR.
Gamification and game-based learning are fantastic models when it comes to learning for kids, and it’s been proven to have success for learners of all ages. However, it doesn’t work at all, unless the physical learning support system is in place. It’s important to prioritize instructional design and structuring the learning modules and curriculum, over the layer of gamification.
At Hornbill FX, we have the in-house capabilities to produce extremely high-quality immersive learning experiences, and also offer strategic input on when you need them, and when 2D design or simpler tech will do.
Our objective is to ensure that your e-learning investment is of long-term value to you. Contact our team today and let’s work together to ensure that you get the most out of your e-learning project.