Bringing Virtual Reality And Telepresence Robotics To E-Learning
This Learning Management System is embracing new technologies to reallocate teaching resources to where they should be going
When employees enter a new work environment, their unique skill sets and off-culture perspective can make for a fresher, more innovative workflow—but it can also come at a cost. Training expenses and the onboarding process can translate to a substantial loss of valuable resources, especially when jobs necessitate traveling to training sites for hands-on experience. To remedy these challenges, global SaaS enterprise CallidusCloud (CALD) has implemented a new suite of technologically-advanced solutions into its award-winning Litmos platform, a cloud-based, multichannel Learning Management System (LMS) designed for employee learning and customer, channel and compliance training on all tiers within an organization’s hierarchy. For an inside look into the juicy virtual reality and tele-present robotics Litmos has in store, PSFK sat down with Executive VP Rory Cameron to discuss how VR and bots will transform the way training will run.
“At CallidusCloud, we’re primarily interested in embedding bleeding edge technology into the learning management space so we can cut down the vision to execution process from four to six years to four to six months. We’ve always been ahead of the bell curve when it comes to training programs—we were the first to do mobile—and we firmly believe that VR and bots are the next frontier in this space,” opens Cameron.
E-learning has become a hot topic among educators and corporations alike, providing a more flexible, personalized, and arguably more effective method of absorbing materials than its in-person counterpart. Participants can refine their learning by controlling the test, fail and correct sequence, which isn’t always a viable option in a physical setting. They also have control over the pace at which they learn, extending beyond a single session or digesting bits and pieces throughout their day. Yet, for all its merits, there’s still a reluctance for many brands to adopt a digital learning approach: a fear of the distractive qualities of computers repels conservative corporations from giving them a shot.
“Though you could argue ‘why not just stick to a desktop for compliance training?,’ the immersive qualities of virtual reality means the learning experience is far more engaging, and adoption rate will inevitability be higher as a result,” Cameron contends. “In fact, VR shrinks onboarding time by 50 percent, as it focuses training on actual events rather than potential scenarios, and is so impactful that it can altogether change behavior. A particular area where we’ve seen great success is medical: when you can’t fly over doctors with a particular expertise, VR learning pays for itself with the amount you’d save on a plane ticket.”
The virtual reality application will be available for Oculus and GearVR, and is slated to support future systems as they enter the market. As an overarching infrastructure for organizations to build and deploy their own fully immersive learning initiatives, Litmos will be the first LMS to offer virtual reality support. Of course, when a headset is unavailable, a 360° video player is also optional, making for a versatile and intuitive platform across a breadth of devices.
Paired with Litmos’ work with telepresence robots—a ‘Skype-on-wheels’ alternative to flying out executives and new recruits—the company will not only add depth perception to the physical environments explored through VR, but will grant users full mobility within the environment for a fully authentic recreation of the classroom. Beaming a recruit over to a training site will provide a low-cost substitute to transporting them physically, and the prospect of doing it in virtual reality will provide a more enthralling outlet for them to explore their learnings than a flat screen ever could.
“[Ultimately] the experience of working with a virtual instructor through a computer monitor is limited—it just can’t provide the same immersive feel that students get through Litmos Bot and VR. With the bot, you actually feel like you’re in the room—you have total spatial awareness, you can hear conversations on the side, and you can navigate the area rather than having to sit still and rigid,” says Cameron.
“It’s a natural extension of the Litmos platform’s approach to mobile learning, and it offers significant cost savings in travel, accommodations and scheduling.”
As the e-learning landscape continues to evolve, count on innovative companies such as Litmos to spearhead the industry’s progress. During our conversation, there was brief mention of an intelligent chatbot being cooked up behind the scenes which could build learning paths on the fly to best suit an individual’s learning style and any questions they may have. Here at PSFK, we can’t wait to see how these technologies will converge, and what Litmos has in store for a digital learning future.
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