We live life in First Person, then why a Third Person E-learning for our Learners?

Have you heard the term FPS anytime? No? Do you remember that game your kid keeps playing where you’ll only see two hands holding a gun, running all around and shooting other people? That’s an FPS (First Person Shooter) game. Video games have many categories but when it comes to how the player experiences the game environment, there are two types, 1st person and 3rd person. In a 3rd person game you’ll be able to see a full-fledged computer character who acts according to the player controls. Take a look at this video to understand better. Come back quick, we have a lot to discuss.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeGMRtvXdfg

Whereas in a 1st person game, you don’t actually get to see the character you’re playing. Take a look at the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eYCiedO440

All you see is a pair of hands with a weapon in one. Now why do they do that? Why do you think they do not show the entire character in this type of approach? This is very well the reason why the whole world is now looking at technologies such as Virtual Reality. It’s called ‘Immersion’. Let’s ask a simple question here. How do we really see ourselves every day? No, I’m not talking about the mirrors and cameras here but through our eyes. We all live in first person view which cannot be changed unless you build a house for yourself with mirrors all around. Our view of ourselves everyday will be just the way you’ve seen in the second video, a first person character.

Like I said, creating immersive experiences using technology is the talk of the town now and when it comes to training, its’s always on the top.

Benjamin Franklin said “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

I’ve used this quotation a lot of times earlier but this time, I felt it’ll be more purposeful in this post. As learning designers, we try to identify the best ways to involve the learner in our training and keep him motivated throughout. Learner involvement is one of the reasons why some classroom sessions are proving to be greatly successful even in this technology era.

How about a first person E-learning?

We use different types of instructional strategies such a scenario based learning, story-telling to engage the learners while at the same time empower them. Using technology such as virtual reality might not be feasible to everyone at this time, but what if we could take a bit of inspiration from such tech to re-imagine our learner’s experience? Videos proved to be powerful learning tools and are used a lot in the E-learning programs. When it comes to developing an E-learning screen out of a content, we often get stuck in situation where we have to choose between making it interactive or creating a video to facilitate better learning. What if we could combine both?

Where do we use such approach? New Employee Orientation?

frogs-1358820_1920.jpg

Before reading any further, check this video from the tutorial level of a recent video game where a AI character helps the player understand how to go about the game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3mnFPOy86Q

Now can you re-imagine this type of approach being used in an E-learning course? Let’s take an example. How about an Induction training program? Over the years, lot of efforts have been made to improve training related to on-boarding. Many big companies rely on E-learning, at least as a partner in welcoming their new employees. Here’s where we get to see a lot of videos being used. For example, the course usually begins with a welcome speech by the CEO of the company who shares the company’s mission and vision with the employee. This is usually followed by the company’s policies, processes, culture, etc.,

In order to use the first person video approach here, we need a character, just like the one you’ve seen in the video above. Who’s better than an HR to play the role for this kind of training? You could get a video created where the HR or any representative of the company will be taking the employee through the training. But the difference here is that the HR will be talking to a first person camera which moves along with her and responds to her when required (learner inputs).

We have been talking about interactive videos here. At some point during the training, the HR will pause the video and ask the learner to perform some actions. For example, the HR will take you to a hallway with the rooms/cabins of the big people of the company. The employee will be asked to select a room to enter and talk to them. All this only through simple clicks from the learner, based on which different videos that you’ve already captured will play according to his selection. Once the employee selects a room, for example, the CEO, the camera moves in to the room where the CEO greets the employee (the camera) and welcomes him aboard. Interesting isn’t it?

Give the learner what he always wanted: Freedom 

censorship-610101_1920.jpgWe’re not done yet. Instead of the character in the video continuously speaking, you can give the freedom to learner on what he wants to learn next. For example, after CEO interaction, the HR can ask the learner “Where to next? Should we go through the leave policies or the company culture” There could be a list of topics from which the learner could select the one he wishes to learn next. To facilitate all this, you’ll need the Instructional Designer of your course to carefully plan and create a detailed storyboard that works well with this approach.

What about the extra effort and money?  

This approach doesn’t cost you more than what you’ve been spending on the current video based trainings, but a little more work from your videographer who needs to work  as per the instructional designer’s inputs and your E-learning developer who has to program the videos to function according to the learner inputs. But the impact that it has on the learners should be totally worth the effort. For trainings such as New Employee Orientation, it is not often that the training has to be rebuilt and so this should be a well spent one-time expense.

What problems have you faced while using videos in your E-learning? Do you think this approach can make them more effective and create better a learning experience?

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Melissa Jungnitsch says:

    Thank you for your post. I have read a great deal about gamification and have honestly, always been skeptical as to its application for adult learners and in the professional setting. However, when presented in terms of delivering first person, or learner controlled content as opposed to the standards by which content is currently disseminated, I cannot help but think of the positive implications. Take your example of new hire training. Often, there is a body of information that is required to learn at the forefront of a new position. However, each learner comes with his or her own body of prior knowledge, applications, and ideas which may deviate from one another. Therefore a one size fits all approach to new hire training or orientation is really not the most effective nor impactful mode of delivery. If companies were to move to this mode of delivering a first person experience, or allowing users to control the content that they receive, it could be a real game changer in terms of acclimating to a new organization. Learners could take the opportunity to learn about things like individualized company policy, benefits, even company structure when it makes the most sense for them to learn it as opposed to learning it as part of a body of material-quite possible never to be retrieved again or having to dig for it as it becomes relevant.
    In terms of your question in regards to video learning, I think the biggest challenges stem from finding a captivating approach that seeks to engage the learner in the required body of material, while allowing room for those who desire more information or background to be able to achieve it. Typically when delivering training, whether live or video-the biggest challenge comes down to presenting the material to someone who has spent twenty years in a position as well as the person who has been here six months. What types of background knowledge are needed across the spectrum and how do we address it in a way that makes it accessible to all?

    Liked by 1 person

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