Have you ever looked at an eLearning module and thought, “Oh wow—that’s awesome. I’ve never seen anything like it.” If you have, that’s wonderful—your learning team is doing something right. Unfortunately, for most people, the eLearning experience isn’t like that. eLearning is primarily made to efficiently teach your content, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Your main goal is to give your learners new information, and there are countless ways to deliver the content. Yes, some of those ways can give you that “wow” factor. Surprisingly enough, new technology that may just seem flashy can in fact increase your learner’s retention.

In today’s world, technology is ever-present and always evolving. With new technology, opportunities arise to push the boundaries of what eLearning is and should be. Here are a few ways eLearning is changing for the better. 

1. Interactivity

The concept of interactivity is a big one. It’s proven to be one of the most effective tools to increase learner retention. Interactivity is already pretty established in the corporate eLearning world. It’s a very broad umbrella that has been around for a while, and its boundaries are always being pushed. But interactivity is starting to become more than a strategy to keep your learner’s attention—in some cases, the entire learning experience is interactive. While AR/VR is an example of this, interactivity can also be a totally scenario-based experience or a responsive problem-solving tool. 

Take a look at this cocktail builder we made for Royal Caribbean. It’s totally interactive and very visual, which is a bonus when working with ESL learners. The way the interaction is set up allows management to see exactly how the learners were making each cocktail. It was custom-built with JavaScript and designed specifically to interact with Royal Caribbean’s LMS (learning management system). It also eliminates the cost of using real alcohol and mixers to train incoming bar servers.

From on-the-job learning to a full digital fleet.

See how we partnered with Royal Caribbean to build an interactive tool that prioritized their global learners.

Take a look

2. Motion graphics

Motion graphics are one of the most versatile forms of digital media in learning. When used correctly, they’re able to stand alone or be included as part of a bigger picture. In learning, motion graphic animations can be really effective for showing complex procedures or high-level overviews. You could consider using a motion graphic animation in a case where live video might overcomplicate what you’re trying to explain or when live video isn’t capable of capturing what’s “under the hood”. As part of a bigger picture, you can use motion as an unexpected way to emphasize important parts of your content. The most effective motion actually looks realistic—it adheres to the laws of physics. If an object in your motion graphic is falling, for instance, in real life it would bounce before it lands.

Whether you’re using a motion graphic to emphasize a point or explain an entire topic, there’s a way they’ll work for you. Plus, they’re easier to modify than a live video. Check out this motion graphic opener we did for Meijer—it gives the learner a high-level overview of what the course will teach them before they dive into the material. 

3. Augmented or Virtual Reality

In the past, the concept of AR/VR was tied almost exclusively to video games. Today, AR/VR is much more mainstream. New technology has made it more cost-effective and applicable to more areas than ever—including your learning. This doesn’t necessarily mean gamification, either. AR/VR can encompass a wide range of interactive experiences.

Differences between using AR and using VR

Augmented reality and virtual reality might seem like futuristic tech right now. It’s still up in the air exactly how AR/VR should fit into the corporate learning world. Using AR/VR in learning is definitely an upward trend. The question is, which type of experience is going to be right for your business? There are some established differences that make it a little easier to choose between the two.

Virtual reality is a totally immersive virtual experience. To get the most out of your experience, you’ll need a headset and handheld devices, like controllers or gloves. Between equipment and the more labor-intensive development process, a VR experience can get expensive. But, VR delivers a “shock and awe” factor that AR just can’t quite reach. Check out this VR showcase we did for Wright Medical—though it’s not technically a learning project, it follows the same general protocols. Plus, it caused a dramatic increase in leads for this product.

Augmented reality, on the other hand, can be used with existing devices like a phone or tablet. Since the experience places graphics in the real world, production costs can be much more manageable. It’s also a lot more accessible than VR, since most AR experiences live in apps that can be downloaded onto your smartphone. This feature makes the learning portable, which is a huge plus for learning that usually requires interacting with bulky equipment or heading to different locations. This AR project we worked on for Stryker checks both of those boxes—this unit is massive and heavy, and needed to be transported. Our AR specialists made it into an app experience that fits in your pocket.

What does this mean for you?

This kind of eLearning becomes more accessible every day. New advances in technology are constant. With each one, we get new tech, or the tech we have is made more affordable or universal. Every day, creating better, more advanced eLearning is more realistic. And, this eLearning isn’t just for show. The way your content is delivered matters as much as the content itself.