How to create immersive training

How to create immersive training experiences

One of the major things content creators struggle with is creating a sense of immersion: making the viewer feel as though they are in the space rather than just a passive observer.

Immersive e-learning content exposes students to real-world scenarios or ideas in a safe and controlled environment. Through this process, they can learn new information more effectively and develop critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills.

So, when we were planning our Angola trip we knew that we definitely wanted to bring on board some new technologies. This was for two reasons: first, to ensure that the visual quality of the videos is cutting edge, and second, to improve the sense of immersion in our content.

Creating immersive experiences in online training

This is so important, particularly in the realm of training and explaining materials. The more we can pull the viewer into the scene, the more likely they are to feel familiar with it and truly absorb the content.

When it comes to creating immersive experiences for training purposes, we like to follow this as a guideline.

  1. Define the purpose. We need to know what the end goal of the material should be.
  2. Tell a story. Use the tech and material to weave a narrative in a meaningful way.
  3. Engage the senses. The more senses we engage, the better the learning experience.
  4. Deploy technology. New technology makes immersive experiences possible. We used a 360 degree video, and talk more about that below.
  5. Personalise the experience. Responsive content makes the experience that much more engaging and personalised.
  6. Collaborate with video and content designers early. This is important. We are the ones who help you create immersive training experiences.

Our new tech: 360 degree video

Our research led us to the world of 360 degree video and camerawork.

In a nutshell, a 360 camera uses multiple cameras to capture images of an entire space rather than the small fraction of a view you get from a regular camera.

After some groundwork and testing of the new camera took place back at our HQ in Cape Town, we jumped on the plane and headed off to Angola, ready to put this new tech to the test.

Immersive HSE filming in action

We recently flew to Angola to film health and safety content for a global oil and gas company based in Angola.

We used our new immersive technology in more ways than we originally intended.

For example, we took it for a spin when visiting the FILDA trade show in Luanda. We captured images throughout the show as well as taking a 360 degree video walking through the halls and seeing all the sites. Anyone watching this video or looking at these photos can manipulate the view – simply by clicking and dragging (or literally looking around while wearing a VR headset) the viewer can be taken along for the tour.

Armed with our new knowledge we used the camera to capture images throughout the different spaces and installations that we visited, and we are using these to build 360 degree virtual tours. That way, anyone who is set to arrive at a new location can take the time to explore it in advance, and familiarise themselves with the various important spaces in their own time and space.

Watch this space: augmented reality (AR) for ultimate immersion

We looked at creating an augmented reality solution.

In this space, individuals can simply scan a QR code on their mobile device and explore, watch video snippets, and peruse the content from anywhere at any time.

Final thoughts

We are only beginning to scratch the surface of what this technology can offer.

We are excitedly diving deeper into the potential applications of this new form of communication over the coming months.