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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…)

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How Giving Back Can Be Fun, Easy and Rewarding in Every Way!

Asking people to donate to charity is never easy. Even when it’s for a good cause! Individuals and businesses are already swamped with requests to donate to charitable organizations. Well, there are a couple different ways to raise funds. You can either solicit and plead for generosity from others or you make it fun and exciting to donate.

At ellicom, we wanted to give back to our community in a way where people could feel comfortable contributing to a good cause, while making it exciting and fun to participate. What better way to raise money than by drawing prizes! And what better event to host a draw than ellicom’s Learning Event of the Year, the ReBoot Learning Lab! Donating is much more interesting when there are prizes to be won! And this definitely added to the excitement of the event. (more…)

ellicom and OVA Join Forces to Take Immersive Learning to the Next Level

MONTREAL – November 28, 2018 – ellicom and OVA today announced a strategic partnership taking immersive learning to the next level. These two North American powerhouses have teamed up to design and build world-class training solutions using virtual reality and augmented reality for businesses around the globe. Having worked with various Fortune 500 companies, ellicom is Canada’s leader in instructional design and training strategy, while OVA, an immersive and spatial computing start-up with funding from virtual and augmented reality tech giants, is democratizing virtual and augmented reality with its creative StellarX platform. Together, these industry leaders are transforming businesses and reshaping cultures and entire industry workflows altogether.

“We’re thrilled to partner with ellicom to integrate our virtual and augmented reality expertise to immersive learning contexts. Together, I strongly believe that we can help businesses tackle this emerging paradigm shift.”  — Harold Dumur, CEO at OVA

“We believe partnering with OVA will definitely take immersive learning to the next level. Already we’ve witnessed an increase in information retention and employee engagement. Combining our instructional design expertise with OVA’s immersive technologies will truly be a game-changer.”  — Soula Chronopoulos, President at ellicom

(more…)

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ReBoot 2018 – To Be Fearless and Inspire Bold Learning Approaches

On November 8, 2018, ellicom hosted the Canadian learning event of the year—the ReBoot Learning Lab. This isn’t the first time we’ve been involved in hosting a conference. In fact, it was the sixth edition of our annual conference. In previous years, ellicom hosted the Bootcamp on Training Strategies in collaboration with partners, but this year it was time for a reset. This time, we aspired to put on an event that was an extension of our values. Out of this idea, ReBoot was born.

Our goal? To be fearless.

Our strategy? To show that cutting edge approaches to learning are not only desirable, but are, in fact, possible. (more…)

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Quality Assurance in the Context of Virtual Reality – The challenges

By Christina Jurges, Ph.D., in collaboration with Sophie Callies, Ph.D.

With new media and technologies come new challenges. Knowing and addressing these is key when it comes to successfully handling VR projects.

 

Preventing simulator sickness

Simulator sickness is “a combination of symptoms clustered around eyestrain, disorientation, and nausea” (https://developer.oculus.com). Simulator sickness can be avoided by using VR development best practices. Although “VR as a popular medium is still too young to have established conventions that address every aspect of the experience,” respecting specific elements during the development phase can help create a pleasant learning experience for the user. Some elements include a teleport button, respecting the ideal amount of light, images or text blocks. Oculus has come up with quite a comprehensive list of best practices that can be consulted here:

https://developer.oculus.com/design/latest/concepts/bp_intro/. (more…)