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Checklist for creating a VR Training Module

The pandemic has created widespread adoption of eLearning at unprecedented levels. In fact some reports show that eLearning rates have increased by as much as 15-fold since the pandemic began. The adoption of eLearning is a great first step to continuing to extend learning beyond the classroom, but technology has come a long way, and virtual reality is the next step in the future of training.

Virtual reality is a new learning tool which is particularly useful in situations where hands-on training is vital but either prohibitively expensive or dangerous to provide and can’t be replicated in the classroom, such as operating heavy equipment or responding to a medical emergency.

Pathways Training and eLearning was the first vendor to create virtual reality training in Canada with St John’s Ambulance, in order to teach first responders what to do in a mass casualty situations. Here are some articles about this project:

Virtual reality allows the learner to replicate the environment in which they will apply the new skills. Research shows that virtual reality can result in as much as 90% recall of information as it allows the learner to understand how the new skills will be used in their workplace. There is a real business case for virtual reality as studies show that simulations are more effective than other methods for learning.

Pathways is excited to announce we will be creating more exciting and innovative virtual reality training modules, to teach people in the trades how to avoid accidents and to identify hazards, by using virtual reality.

As many organizations are new to creating virtual reality training modules, we thought we would share some common questions that should be asked in order to prepare to create your module. In our case, in order to create a virtual construction site, we will be using 360 video (similar to what real estate agents use now in days to showcase a house) and we will be filming at several real construction sites, in order to create our virtual world.

As many instructional designers and training teams have never created a virtual reality module, we thought we would share a checklist of items that we use, and that any organization or training team should consider in order to develop a virtual reality or 360º video training module.

  1. Content – What will you teach or test? - What content will you be teaching and what do you want the learner to do differently as a result of participating in a virtual reality simulation? What questions should be asked in the scenario, to ensure the learner understand the key content?

  2. Virtual World – Animated or Realistic - What programming method will you use? Will you use Unity to create an animated virtual reality world or will you use 360 video and will you film at a real site?

  3. Filming Methods – Do you need to use stock images? Do you need to take pictures at the site? Do you need to film a narrator at the site?

  4. Logistics – What is the time of the filming? What location will use and on what date? What people need to be there?

  5. Script or Storyboards – Have the scripts/storyboards been approved? Does the camera crew know what they will film and in what order? Does the onscreen talent know where they will be and when?

  6. Health and Safety or COVID Protocols – Our next VR site will be on a construction site filming hazards. Questions we are considering is: (1) Can hazards be created safely on site so the film crew or people around will not get hurt. (2) If there are health and safety risks are there stock pictures from a graphic library that can be used instead? (3) Given the pandemic are there COVID protocols that need to be followed?

  7. Filming – Where will the filming site be? What hours can you access the site? Do you need to take traditional video, if there is a narrator? What order will you take the video and still shots (if required)? Do you need to visit the site in advance to determine the filming order and what equipment will be needed?

  8. What equipment do you need? Do you need a 360 camera? Traditional video equipment? Lighting kits? Microphones and teleprompter or anything else? When we created our first VR training module with St John Ambulance, we actually found a LuluLemon headband was better than any of the professional equipment to actually attach the 360 video camera to the videographer for walking camera shots.

Use this checklist to prepare to develop your virtual reality training module and congratulations on your decision to innovative your learning beyond traditional eLearning and classroom training! Welcome to the future of learning!


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