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There is a huge shift in the way end-users are consuming content and information today.

So, what has changed?

Content overload

Content bombards us through different channels and access to it now quite literally appears at one’s command. Google, WhatsApp, Social media, RSS feeds, intranets, emails, news updates, podcasts, subscription channels, apps with push notifications, personalized preference-based feeds… and the list goes on.

 

Time spent online

The Ofcom Communications Market Report 2018 findings show that people in the UK spend on average a total of one day (24 hours) a week online. Of the total minutes spent online by the entire UK digital population, 62% is through smartphones, followed by desktops (25%) and tablets (13%).

 

Smart and voice enabled devices

A host of smart devices have stealthily invaded our every waking moment. Smart phones, wearables, computers, interactive television, game consoles, and voice enabled devices (e.g. Amazon echo, Google Assistant, Siri…) have become our gateway to this content. The time we spend interfacing with these devices has dramatically gone up.

 

Immersive technologies

The sophistication and realism of media and immersive technologies like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality add another dimension to our experiences with content.

 

Technology learning curve

The ease with which we accept new and evolving technology and then embed it into our daily lives has also accelerated. On the other hand, our learning curve to adapt to new updates of models and versions has improved.

 

The information overdose through these myriad forms has impacted attention spans. What we remember and retain with this memory overload is very different from what we did in the past. The way we connect the dots in our minds to make sense of the content received through the multiple digital mediums has also altered.


Are we as learning providers and designers addressing what this means to the way our target audience learns and retains knowledge?

A multi-generational workforce is a reality now, with millennials becoming a large part of this target audience. The old ways of presenting reams of content and hoping that, because it is a mandatory requirement, users will go through it, didn’t really work before and certainly doesn’t work now.

Our design strategies need to cut through the fog of info that the audience is being bombarded with and grab their attention. As we create learning strategies, gain a better understanding of our target audience, and rework learner profiles, here are a few questions that can act as a lens when analyzing our design and become a first step in initiating this change.

Is the content designed:

  • In small, easy to digest, self-sufficient units?
  • Contextual to the tasks the learners are required to perform and is it application-oriented?
  • Using newer engagement approaches such as gamification?
  • Using the right blend of technologies and is it compatible to the devices the learner profile are spending maximum time on?
  • Using more immersive technologies when possible, to make the fidelity more real-world and improve recall?
  • Using contemporary interactivity to keep usability in synch with the apps of today?

The key is to ensure our approach to designing learning content is bespoke to the new learner profile. Keeping pace with technology, it needs to have evolved to make the learning truly relevant, impactful and memorable in today’s environment.

A post by Ishrat Shums, Director – Creative Design at SiyonaTech Ltd.

The SiyonaTech team made their second visit to West Herts College in Watford on the 19th November as part of the Virtual Reality trial for their Aircraft Cabin Fire-fighting programme. 13 students satisfactorily completed the Learning phase and then successfully gained a pass in the Assessment phase. Mr Adam Kenworthy (centre), Training Manager – Strategy & Projects at Easy Jet, was on hand to present their achievement certificates.

In the New Year the students will attempt just the Assessment phase again in order to measure retention and knowledge decay.

Written by Colin Metcalfe

SiyonaTech initiated their Virtual Reality (VR) programme trial at West Herts college in Watford yesterday with a class of Diploma in Air Cabin Crew / Aviation students. The VR programme taught and tested the class on dealing correctly with an aircraft cabin fire. The trial, which is being conducted at colleges throughout the South-East of England, aims to investigate the effectiveness of such learning tools for these types of students and subjects, with particular regard to long-term retention.

Written by Colin Metcalfe.

In October 2018 Siyona Tech are commencing a trial of their Virtual Reality (VR) Cabin Fire-Fighting programme at Further Education Colleges throughout the South-East of England.

The aim of this exciting trial is to investigate the effectiveness of VR learning tools for critical processes and emergency procedures. Although much data already exists supporting the effectiveness of VR training for medical procedures, there is little available material for more practical less technical processes.

Students studying Travel and Tourism and Aviation related courses will first experience a learning exercise, on which they will have to prove competence before taking a practical VR assessment.

More updates will appear on this site as the trial progresses.

 

For more information contact: Colin Metcalfe or Phillip Frere-Smith.

Virtual Reality (VR) presents unlimited opportunities for learning as it places the learner within a realistic environment, stimulating their senses, and enabling them to focus on the salient information and tasks. Here are a few points to assist you in creating a powerful training experience.

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Whether you’re looking to improve safety compliance, or productivity and efficiency or providing critical hands-on training to dispersed teams without the associated difficulties – there’s no doubt that the next generation of Performance Support solutions will include Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality solutions.

It’s no longer about delivering learning to learners; it’s about putting learners into the cockpit for a first hand, jump-in-and-fly-it-yourself experience.

Whether you’re actively looking to adopt immersive learning, or just surveying the territory, here are some tips that we’ve put together to help you get comfortable for the ride ahead.

Read more

 

What is Virtual Reality?

In technical terms, Virtual Reality (VR) is a term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person then becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.

In simple terms, VR immerses the user within a virtual environment by blanking out the real environment (fully or partially) through the use of a headset and computing device – a smartphone, computer or within the headset itself. The user, through the VR application on the computing device, can visualise, experience and interact with the virtual environment.

Virtual Reality is ideal for training applications where there is a benefit in the learner being situated within the context, whether it be for entertainment, training, simulations, architectural renders or any other kind of visualisation scenarios.


What different formats does it take?

There are a number of different formats of VR. Which one is most appropriate depends on the platform and use-cases.

From a platform/hardware perspective, there are two main formats:

  • Tethered: This is where the software application resides on a computer/desktop and the headset is connected to it. The advantage is that one can run high-end VR solutions on a desktop and interaction possibilities are extended. The main disadvantage is that it’s impractical if the VR needs to be distributed to a larger audience. An example of a tethered solution is the HTC Vive or Oculus system.
  • Non-Tethered: In this, the VR application resides in either a standalone VR headset, such as the Oculus Go; or a SmartPhone, which can be used within a VR headset, such as the GearVR. Although the computing power is less and the interaction possibilities slightly limited, this can be deployed to a larger audience. One can extend the interaction possibilities by combining a gaze cursor within the application or with handheld controllers.

Virtual Reality can also be implemented in a number of visual formats:

  • Full 3D environments
  • 360 degree photography-based environments
  • 360 degree video or animation environments

An approach is selected depending on the level of immersion and interactivity required.

Typically, VR solutions are delivered as an App that resides on the SmartPhone or Desktop, however they can be deployed online as well. Online solutions are slightly restrictive in terms of what one can achieve with the bandwidth.


What are the possibilities of VR for training learning?

The saying from a Chinese philosopher is often quoted in technology-based learning/active learning:

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

In our view, Virtual Reality (VR) takes it to the next dimension:

“I immerse and I transform

VR has huge possibilities in learning as it can place the learner within the real context, get them to focus on tasks and provide a multi-dimensional learning experience where all the senses are truly engaged. Some of the use cases can be around:

  • Induction – Familiarising learners with a new environment;
  • Health and Safety (H&S) – Practising H&S within a safe environment that mirrors their real environment;
  • Situational simulations – Sales and other situations;
  • Conceptual learning – delivering conceptual learning in a really impactful manner;
  • Visualisation – Visualising a complex concept that can’t be easily demonstrated in a 2D environment or the items can’t be brought together in the real world.

Benefits

Learning within VR can have tremendous benefits for learning as demonstrated by the above examples.

Although research and data are at the early stages, there are demonstrable benefits across a number of trials and research:

  • Learners recall VR experiences and the content they cover within them for longer periods than other training methods;
  • Being able to visualise in a multi-dimensional environment helps internalise the topic;
  • VR has a high impact on the senses and therefore the ability to transform behaviour;
  • Truly being able to situate the learner within the ‘Context’ has a huge impact on the learning;
  • It’s a novel and innovative way of learning and generates more interest and engagement;
  • Finally, the learner is less distracted by being within the VR environment and is more likely to focus on the learning.

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