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The Creation of One of Canada’s First 360 Video and Virtual Reality eLearning Modules

This blog is about the amazing experience of creating one of Canada’s first 360 videos and virtual reality eLearning modules. At the DevLearn Conference in Vegas in November, 2016 the talk from training specialists from around the world was all about how this technology will change the face of corporate training and eLearning.

Our foray into 360 videos and virtual reality training was completely unexpected. On November 18th, on the last day of the DevLearn conference, I decided I might be able to squeeze in one last quick session at 7:30am before my flight took off and I headed back to Toronto. The room was pretty packed and I ended up sitting beside a fellow Canadian (a rarity given most people at the conference were from the U.S or Europe). We got chatting about the fact that Canadians were not developing eLearning with 360 videos or any virtual reality components.

My seat mate introduced himself as being a fellow Canadian from St. John Ambulance. We chatted about how great this training medium would be for first aid training as the closer you can get people to practice their first aid training in situations that are as close to the medical emergencies as possible, the more likely this medium is to save lives!

I explained that the team from Pathways was at the DevLearn Conference to see if we could find a new learning technology to bring to Canada. I also shared that over the last two days our realization was that evolving eLearning to include 360 video/virtual reality was our new view on the future of training.

I explained that we were going to purchase a 360 degree camera as soon as we were back in Canada and we were looking for content to create our first demo. St. John Ambulance was not planning on investing in the additional costs for the 360 degree camera or the additional powerful laptop that is required to edit the video but they did want to experiment this medium in the future as they knew the impact of virtual reality would help to save lives. This is when it was proposed that Pathways Training and eLearning work together to create one of (and possibly the first) eLearning module with 360 video and virtual reality in Canada. We shot the 360 video last week at Rogers Arena in beautiful Vancouver, where the learning is designed to test people’s knowledge of who to help and what to do in a mass causality situation.

We are currently working on editing the 360 video and adding HTML5 hot spots into the actual video to create eLearning. As we continue to convert this new medium, we will talk about our lessons learned and we will share how to develop eLearning using this new medium, as currently there is no eLearning authoring tools (like Lectora, Captivate or Storyline) for virtual reality training or 360 videos.

Stay tuned to future posts, as we will continue to document the development of Canada’s first 360 video/virtual reality eLearning module.

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