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Measuring the Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Solutions – ellicom/LCILX research study

In the wake of de-confinement in many sectors and industries comes a new set of particular challenges. A large number of offices and institutions are now reopening and many people are facing yet another set of rules, restrictions, uncertainties, on top of various “back to work” related stressors. Navigating the numerous organizational and operational changes and strict safety measures triggered by the pandemic can take a toll on employees’ health and well-being.

During the pandemic, the use of new technologies to mimic or even replace the physical experiences has skyrocketed. From virtual meetings, remote office work to online clinics, technology was and still is at the forefront of our new normal. In the education industry, the digital classroom and online learning have rapidly become the norm.

As part of our research and development initiatives, ellicom/LCILX is analyzing how can we strategically make use of new technologies such as Virtual Reality within our learning solutions to create engaging and immersive learning experiences that puts the learner in the center.

In order to measure the effects of VR solutions on humans, we have been working in close collaboration with the medical community to study and research their effectiveness. Therefore, we have put in motion an extensive research study in partnership with Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider and network, and OVA, a leader in the spatial computing, virtual, augmented, and mixed reality fields to study and measure the positive effect of immersive VR experiences on cognitive flexibility, mental capacity, motivation and well-being of health care workers exposed to stress and potential burnout.

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During the study, we measured and documented the physical and mental effects of mindful meditation on healthcare professionals’ mental well-being through a virtual reality mindful meditation tool that allows the participants to take short meditation breaks during their workday in a relaxing virtual environment.

Increased stress and anxiety in the workplace are widespread phenomena in many of today’s industries. If symptoms are ignored and untreated, the risk of developing burnout or symptoms of burnout increases. Therefore, more and more companies and organizations have been looking for ways to reduce their employees’ stress levels. Stress reduction has become increasingly and particularly important for the healthcare industry, especially considering that the current pandemic has pushed many healthcare workers to their limits. COVID-19 has put a magnifying glass on an issue that has become more crucial than ever and deserves our and the industry’s full attention: the reduction of stress and anxiety in the workplace to prevent burnout and allow employees to work in a more balanced and healthier way.

Download our research study below to access our findings:

 

Virtual reality mindful meditation as a tool for stress reduction in the healthcare environment

DOWNLOAD RESEARCH STUDY

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ellicom/LCILX hosting the Ottawa International Animation Festival on our Virtual Experience Platform

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), one of the world’s best known and loved animation events is moving its screenings and talks online for the 2020 event and we are incredibly excited to be hosting the event on our Virtual Experience Platform VXP! The 12-day event is running from September 23 to October 4 (http://www.animationfestival.ca/).

 

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“At first we wanted to mimic the live event as much as possible, but then the team started to think of ways we could take the things people love about the OIAF and make it more suited to an at-home experience,” says Managing Director Kelly Neall. “It’s a chance to get creative and try some new things”.

Our customized virtual experience platform will securely showcase the films for an international audience while also incorporating a social component. From artist talks, workshops, virtual meetings and exhibitions to a big virtual party, the OIAF team and ellicom/LCILX are excited to create unforgettable experiences!

Visit ellicom.com or contact us at info@ellicom.com to learn more about our customized virtual experience platforms and digital solutions.

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Celebrating the successful virtual closing event of Zú’s “Focus” program

We are celebrating the successful closing event of Zú’s “Focus” (https://zumtl.com/en/page/focus-details) program, which was hosted on our virtual experience platform (VXP), fully customized and designed in Zú’s vision!

We are incredibly proud and honored to have worked with Noor El Bawab and Guillaume Thérien from Zú to bring this closing event to life. Initiated by Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil and Lune Rouge, Zú is a non-profit organization whose mission is to gather, help and promote creatives in the entertainment sector to develop world-class innovative projects.

During the 12-week focus program, major players and industry leaders have been brought together with start-ups based in Québec and around the world to transform Montreal’s cityscape and enhance its visibility as creative and future-oriented location.

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A fully customizable solution:

Our team designed a fully customized digital platform allowing us to re-create the physical experience in the virtual while perfectly reflecting the event’s unique audience and spirit. Unlike other virtual event platforms, our solutions are tailored to every event, and no two are ever alike. This makes our turnkey solution modulable and re-sequencable, guaranteeing that your event is exactly how you imagined it (and even better!)

 

Around the clock hands-on support:

We work passionately to turn every event into a success and shine the spotlight on participants, exhibitors, and organizers. We want them to be able to focus on the important things while our team takes care of all the logistics and provides full service and support behind the scenes from start to finish.

It has been incredibly fun to accompany and support the talented teams of the final co-hort of selected start-ups every step of the way. e→d films, Shaftesbury, Gallea, Gridspace and Madefire – you all looked like superstars!

 

Creating a unique ecosystem:

Turning visions into (virtual) reality while putting the human aspect in the center is at the core of what we do. It has been a great experience to, not only capture Zú’s dynamic and electric atmosphere of innovation within our platform, but to also design this mobile ecosystem to create meaningful connections and ideas without limits.

Kudos to everyone involved making this innovative program and closing event a success!

 

Get in touch with us to learn how we can bring your unique vision to virtual life with our customizable platform:

info@ellicom.com

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ellicom selected for the “Genesis ideation program – Facing the crisis”!

We at ellicom put the human experience in the center of digital transformation and immersive solutions. We are proud to have been selected amongst more than 80 candidates for the “Genesis – Affronter la crise” program presented by . Our dynamic Vx platform creates immersive experiences that take participants on a virtual exploratory and “humanized” journey. The program will not only combine artistic creations and technological solutions, but is also a great testimony of the diversity of Québec’s entertainment industry and its creative innovations. We are excited to be part of this journey!

Click here to read the full press release.

To learn more about our immersive solutions and our Vx platform, contact us for a demo at
info@ellicom.com

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A care package for our healthcare heroes

This week, ellicom is happy to send a care package packed with Google cardboard headsets (and chocolates…) to our partners at Northwell Health. The headsets will allow our healthcare heroes at Northwell Health take mindful breaks during the day by following virtual reality guided meditation videos. In combination with OVA’s fantastic 3D landscapes, this virtual experience will help reduce symptoms of stress and create moments of calm to mentally recharge throughout the day.

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The breakthrough of e-learning in times of pandemic

 

  • Virtual solutions are replacing their physical equivalents in a large number of industries.
  • The education industry is adapting by implementing e-learning programs.
  • From virtual classrooms to virtual reality training, e-learning best practices can help create effective and engaging solutions.

The importance of virtual solutions to replace their physical equivalents has become rapidly and increasingly obvious since the COVID-19 outbreak—whether it be online meetings and conferences, online shopping, or ordering take-out food on restaurant websites (the list goes on and on).

Many companies and organizations have been forced to rethink the way they operate in order to survive in the current economic circumstances. But there are also industries whose products are already adapted to our new normal. Among them is the e-learning industry. Virtual learning and training are not only used by schools, colleges and universities, but also by companies and organizations that wish to train their employees in order to foster their personal and professional development within their enterprises.

UNESCO reports that a staggering 1.38 billion learners have been impacted by national school closures worldwide. Needless to say, it is time to rethink the best practices of global education and training. Not surprisingly, this trend can already be seen in the financial market: according to Business Insider, “The investments made to learning technology companies in 2019 were the highest in the history of the learning technology industry by an extraordinary margin and blasted past the records set between 2015 and 2017 and far outpaced the historic high in 2018.” (https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/2019-global-edtech-investments-reach-a-staggering-18-66-billion-1028800669)

In all of this, the role of e-learning companies and professionals is to ensure that the new virtual training and education solutions are effective and pedagogically sound. Here are a few of our best practices for delivering effective e-learning programs:

  • Engage the learner: use interactive elements (for example in the form of quizzes), apply a storytelling approach and include gamification elements to take your training experience from passive to active.
  • Apply e-learning assets creatively: use a mix of on-screen text and multimedia elements such as videos, animations, narration and podcasts.
  • Optimize solutions for the mobile market: use authoring tools such as Articulate RISE to create courses that can be consulted on the go on any mobile device, including tablets and smartphones.
  • Respect accessibility standards: from a design perspective, ensure that your solution is inclusive, meaning it should follow accessibility guidelines (such as AODA) for learners with disabilities. On a functional level, make sure your e-course is optimized to be accessed in remote locations with limited bandwidth or internet.

When it comes to e-learning as an addition or alternative to traditional classroom learning, the numbers speak for themselves: “For those who do have access to the right technology, there is evidence that learning online can be more effective in a number of ways. Some research shows that on average, students retain 25–60% more material when learning online compared to only 8–10% in a classroom. (…) e-learning requires 40–60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom setting because students can learn at their own pace, going back and re-reading, skipping, or accelerating through concepts as they choose.” (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/coronavirus-education-global-covid19-online-digital-learning/)

As with every global industry development, it is important to understand the trends and what is in the pipeline. One of the biggest keywords of modern education is “immersive solutions”. The significant developments to follow in e-learning include immersive solutions that put the learners directly in the centre of the experience and allow them to virtually immerse themselves into the learning environment. “In the last four years, investors have aggressively shifted their interest away from legacy products like Self-paced eLearning to next-generation companies developing Cognitive Learning, AI-based Learning, Mixed Reality Learning (AR-based Learning and VR-based Learning), Mobile Learning, Location-based Learning (Location Intelligence), Game-based Learning, and even Educational Bots (both physical and virtual).”(https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/2019-global-edtech-investments-reach-a-staggering-18-66-billion-1028800669)

Whether your audience responds best to a virtual classroom set-up, a course based on a storytelling approach or a virtual reality e-learning environment, the key to creating great e-learning programs is to turn the act of learning into a dynamic and engaging experience.

For ideas and samples of engaging e-learning solutions, visit ellicom at www.ellicom.com or request access to our portfolio by emailing info@ellicom.com

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ENCQOR 5G Awards Grant to ellicom, OVA, and LaSalle College to Design and Deploy Novel Virtual Classroom Experiences using 5G

Montreal, Quebec (April 1st,2020) ellicom president Soula Chronopoulos is proud to announce collaboration with ENCQOR 5G (https://www.encqor.ca/), OVA, and LaSalle College (LCI). This strategic partnership will leverage new digital opportunities creating transformational learning and workplace training technologies for customers, students and academics.

 

ENCQOR 5G (Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Québec and Ontario for Research and Innovation) is a transformational Canada-Québec-Ontario partnership focused on research and innovation in the field of 5G disruptive technologies, on adoption initiatives and system uses. ENCQOR 5G is building the first-ever precommercial 5G corridor from Ontario to Québec, which will maximize wireless speed and increase access to digital products for learning and training by over 100 times. This exciting collaboration will result in an innovative model to deliver state-of-the-art virtual classes in an academic and commercial setting.

 

ellicom, OVA, and LCI are already at the cutting edge of training development, bringing innovative technology to the classroom through VR and new e-learning strategies. With the new 5G corridor, these organizations will bring their expertise to further expand their current training portfolio. Through this grant from ENCQOR, ellicom, OVA, and LCI will transform the nature of digital learning and e-commerce nationally and internationally.

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5 Training Trends to Watch for…

Employee development and training is an important aspect every company needs if it wants to stay ahead of the competition. According to business experts on Chron, employee training results in more efficient problem-solving, and an overall improved office productivity. Learning and development (L&D) programs play a key role in retention too, since it’s an opportunity for employees to learn new skills and help them advance in their careers.

To ensure that you are developing effective training modules, here are a couple of trends to look out for.

Data Analytics

To deliver the best kind of employee training possible, you must determine several factors, such as: who you’re training, what kind of training they need, and which learning methods are best. For this reason, data proves extremely useful, as it provides you with tangible insights that can be measured.

An article by Roy Dekel discusses how analytics has been revealing new information about employees like never before—from how their work hours are best spent to which teams are most productive together. This is further supported by findings from Maryville University, which highlight the importance of data analytics in forecasting and predictive modelling. Based on the patterns derived, managers and L&D professionals can then use the data to make more informed decisions and avoid strategies that are ineffective and wasteful for resources.

Accessibility

With so much to do in the office, it seems unnecessary to allot an entire day or week to gather all your trainees (and trainers!) into one room to conduct your session. Instead, it’s more efficient to give them access to all the resources online so that they can review and learn at their own pace. Not only does this save everyone’s time, but it also allows employees to revisit certain lessons when they feel the need for a refresher.

Learning Preference-Based Approach

Everybody learns differently. In fact, former Harvard Professor Howard Gardner reveals how there are eight types of learning styles, which you’ll definitely observe among your team members. For instance, this is why auditory or kinesthetic learners struggle with visual presentations, while visual learners may have a harder time with numbers. As such, a non-standardized approach to training may be more prudent. Instead of giving everybody the same material, try creating multiple training modules, and have your employees choose their preferred courses. It may take more effort, but they’ll absorb the material much better.

Gamification

If you prefer conducting your training in person, that’s fine too. After all, there are benefits to learning in a more personal environment. Plus, attendees have the opportunity to ask the facilitator questions directly after the presentation. However, the challenge now lies in maintaining this seminar-type formula before people start getting bored.

One way to keep things interesting is by gamifying your presentation. For instance, you can split your module into “levels” or have a leaderboard for whenever someone successfully answers a question. Studies from the University of Toronto have found that bringing in-game characteristics such as competition, challenges, and terminology, is a proven strategy to boost learners’ motivation.

Mixed Reality (Immersion)
Mixed reality—or technology that blends virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)—is nothing new. However, its impact on L&D is just beginning. For one, here at ellicom and OVA we decided to make corporate training more interesting by introducing mixed reality into programs. The platform, called StellarX, is a VR/AR-powered space that can simulate real-world scenarios to help trainees put their knowledge to the test. Whether it’s office scenarios, emergency situations, customer service, or other unique circumstances, experiencing the “real” thing via mixed reality is bound to make training programs more engaging.
When it comes to training, digital is the only way forward. L&D professionals have to stay on top of the latest tech trends to optimize the learning experience, develop new strategies, and ensure that they’re delivering the best training possible.

 

Exclusively written for ellicom.com

By Jemme Blem

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Making the Invisible Visible

How ellicom and Hydro-Québec Created a Safe Virtual Reality Training Program about the Danger of Induction in Power Lines

Electromagnetic induction poses a critical health danger to workers that need to work close to power lines. It is invisible, has no odour and no colour. For workers, it is an especially complex phenomenon to understand since it occurs on power lines that do not have any electricity running through them. But the danger is real. In fact, unsuspecting workers performing repair work on an off-voltage line could suffer serious injuries or even die because of the electricity that has accumulated in the power line.

To ensure the safety of its workers, Hydro-Québec was using fragile physical models to demonstrate electromagnetic induction-related phenomena, helping workers learn about the many risks of electrocution. Although the models were appreciated by the learners, since they helped make theoretical aspects much more concrete, there were many drawbacks in using these models. First, they were of considerable size and heavy, the assembly and disassembly were time-consuming, repair was difficult and costly, and most of all, these models carried electrical charges in their wires, and accidents occurred during the training, making handling of the model by learners and trainers dangerous and risky. (more…)

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Ellicom Appoints Nishan Joomun as General Manager

Ms. Soula Chronopoulos, President of ellicom, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Nishan Joomun as General Manager, effective since March 18, 2019.

Nishan is a graduate of Cambridge University, with extensive experience in multimedia design, project management, development and IT. He has been a key driver of growth for eConcordia/KnowledgeOne for over 12 years, most recently as Vice President of IT and Development. (more…)