Reflections from DevLearn 2017
Senior Solutions Consultant at Kineo US
Last month the Kineo team hightailed it out to Las Vegas for DevLearn 2017 where we dug into a number of great sessions and took notes on what’s gearing up to be the latest and greatest in the future of elearning. Some of the topics that were covered, such as interactive video, seem to be maintaining the momentum they’ve gained recently, while other topics, like Gamification, seem like they’re comfortably cruising in the mainstream, with emerging technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality poised to make a huge impact in the industry in the relatively near future.
While interactive video isn’t exactly new to the elearning scene, there was a lot of focus at DevLearn 2017 on how to create great interactive videos without using up your entire budget on production costs. There were two great sessions focused on producing videos in-house. One of them, “Building a Recording Studio for Less” was specifically geared toward helping L&D professionals understand the nuances of how to produce great quality sound in a video, what the differences are in terminology, and how to determine what materials or equipment are worth dipping into the budget for. During their presentation they also showcased a team that managed to convert a regular conference room into a studio complete with a green screen and audio equipment for under $1,500 proving that it’s not just a pipe dream to be able to bring many facets of video production in house at a reasonable price.
Like interactive video, gamification isn’t new, but what is new is the emergence of a number of tools that aim to make gamification accessible to a much broader audience. A few of the tools that caught our eye were Lemonade Training, Game Effective, and The Training Arcade by The Game Agency. Each offers a different spin on creating games, with Lemonade focused on creating a narrative to drive engagement, Game Effective using board game analogy and having “strong” push learning capabilities, and The Training Arcade specializing in simple game-show style experiences.
Augmented reality and virtual reality
At first glance, it may be difficult to differentiate between these two forms of “reality.” However, there’s a fairly easy way to distinguish them:
Augmented reality is the process of adding features or layers onto what actually exists. For example, you may wear augmented reality glasses while walking down the street and while you would still see the same pavement and street layout, there may be added features over the image. Perhaps the weather would be different, or there would be different architectural details - cobblestones instead of pavement, or wood frames instead of concrete. It’s real, and you’re there, but it’s just been enhanced or edited in some way.
Virtual reality is the process of creating something that is as true to form as possible. This is quite common in certain video games, where you’ll be plunged into the ocean and see an underwater seascape filled with sea creatures that look real enough to touch (or run away from). However, the biggest difference is that with virtual reality, you aren’t really there. As cool as it would be to just jump from your living room into the ocean and come face to face with a dolphin, it’s all make believe. The ideas for applying AR and VR to training initiatives is really quite boundless. Imagine creating an augmented reality segment where, while wearing the appropriate gear, learners are able to look at a piece of machinery and physically turn it over in their hands (if it’s small enough), or walk around it to view it from different angles. While they’re being trained on a part they can actually go through a virtual walkthrough on how to repair it, or learn how specific features of the product work without having to physically take it apart. Conversely, with a virtual reality module, learners could be sent on a tour of a manufacturing facility from the comfort and safety of their desk. They would still be able to look around the facility and view things from different angles, but they would only see what’s pre-programmed into the virtual reality world.
How about you? What stood out to you this year at DevLearn?
Learn more about incorporating interactive video into your elearning plans, check out our guide: Lights, camera, interaction: making interactive video work for learning.