Are there limitations when developing an eLearning module in VR?
Virtual Reality is gradually becoming a more popular interactive tool, most especially in the entertainment sector. However, as we have seen in the past few years, and more recently with the project we are developing for one of our amazing clients, VR is taking a hold of the eLearning industry as well.
And as much as I don't like to admit it, there are still several challenges that are (probably) inherent to the nature of this technology that may not be apparent at a first glance, but are much more notorious in the development phase of an eLearning module.
For example one of the main challenges is the reporting capability. As it is well known, eLearning modules need a way to talk to the LMS to let it know that a learner has successfully completed the training, and this is done by using a version of SCORM, AICC, and Tin Can. So, even though there are amazing tools out there in the market to create virtual reality experiences, most of them are not compatible, and not even aware of SCORM, so for an eLearning project, these tools are almost automatically discarded.
Considering only the most typical tools in our eLearning industry, i.e. Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate, these tools are exceptionally good when it comes to creating interactions, and on top of that, they are already compatible with LMS technology (SCORM, AICC, Tin Can). Unfortunately, Storyline is still developing its 360 view functionality, with no clear outlook as it relates to VR (but from experience, this shouldn't be a big leap since 360 is the foundation of VR).
That only leaves us with Adobe Captivate, which is a great tool by itself, and it comes with Virtual Reality functionality, and reporting capabilities. At this point, the limitation only come down to what can be achieved within this tool. Just to be clear, you can usually do a lot of interactive things within Captivate, but this is greatly reduced when you are creating a VR project, for example, there are only two types of questions, the real estate for text in these questions is very reduced, as well as the type of feedback you can provide. One very important limitation, is the fact that the list of actions you can add to triggers is very limited, compared to the normal list of actions, and you can't even add advanced actions, which allow you to create more complicated logic.
There are workarounds, of course, but it's better to take things into perspective and understand that this technology is still being implemented in our field, and hopefully in the near future we will have a more robust tool to create Virtual Reality eLearning modules.