The dull days of learning are over. When it comes to engaging employees, cheesy stock photos steering learners through lengthly PowerPoints no longer cut it.
Over the past few years, multimedia learning trends have been popping up in the training room. With technology advancing rapidly, we can only expect more to emerge throughout the next decade.
Let’s walk you through a few of the most popular options, so you can decide if they’re right for your company.
Multimedia Learning Trends
Video, virtual reality and gamification are a handful of multimedia learning trends that have been tried and tested over the past couple of years, and organisations are calculating their return on investment.
Employees are interested in content when it’s delivered in an exciting and engaging way – no surprises here. They’re showing better rates of retention and willingness to complete training.
As technology advances, we can expect to see improved quality and innovation in these mediums to create more engaging training programs and excellent learning outcomes.
1. Shorter Videos
When you have a complex topic it can be tempting to put that information into a 70-slide PowerPoint. This is the easy way out.
Around 65 per cent of the population are visual learners. Sounds and moving images help draw us in, trigger emotions, allow us to process messages faster and retain information for longer. This is a handful of reasons why videos are making their way into more educational content. Taking lengthly info and condensing it into a short but impactful video is far more likely to reach your learning outcomes.
Short, sharp videos are more digestible as topics or modules. We’re used to this micro-learning format – if you have a new task to tackle at home, you might watch a short video on YouTube to find out how to do it. If you serve training content in the same format in the workplace, it’s sure to engage.
Another appeal of video is that it’s becoming easier for any organisation to produce. Simple, short videos can be made to an acceptable standard with only a mobile phone, an editing app or two and basic production skills. If you need a more advanced explainer video with motion graphics – like the one we produced for South32 (below) – you’ll need a multimedia producer.
The trend of using 360 degree video will also continue for organisations wanting to educate the learner with a panoramic view or immersive video. Which brings us onto our next trend…
South32: Dropped Objects Awareness Video – view case study
2. Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality is a surefire way to capture and retain your audience’s attention. By immersing learners in realistic experiences, they can virtually explore sites, see events unfolding before them and perform the actions they’d need to do in a real life scenario. All in the safety and comfort of the office or training room.
VR was first associated with gaming, but now hands-on industries like health and safety, the military and healthcare are donning the headsets for training. We’ve even noticed companies are becoming less focused on VR’s wow factor and more interested in its effective applications.
As training results skyrocket and headsets advance, we can only expect VR training to keep rising.
ENGIE: VR Hazard Perception Training – view case study
3. Augmented Reality (AR)
While virtual reality has been around for a long time in various forms, augmented reality is hot on its heels.
Augmented reality is where images, sounds and text are superimposed over the real world – like in the movie Minority Report and the Pokemon Go app. AR ‘adds’ digital information to the world we see, whereas VR shuts the viewer off visually from the outside world, completely immersing them in a virtual environment.
With the cost of glasses and headsets coming down in price, more organisations can justify an experiment in the technology and find new ways of delivering learning programs.
Hear us when we say you’re never too old to play games. Gamification lets you release your inner child and learn a thing or two at the same time.
It’s a popular and engaging training experience that can change the learner’s mindset from ‘I have to’ complete this training to ‘I want to’. This often results in better knowledge retention, as gamification can increase employees’ ability to learn by 40%.
Companies often use gamification in e-Learning programs for on-boarding, compliance training, skills enhancement and behaviour change. An effective gamification program will capture a trainee’s attention, teach and challenge them while engaging and entertaining them.
It is expected that employers who have seen the success of gamification in courses will gamify existing traditional course material. Compliance courses, procedural, sales and product training can all be ‘gamified’ to make employees want to complete them.
RUC: HAZMAN Can You Spot the Hazard? Video
5. Scenario-based e-Learning
When you sit an e-Learning course, the chances are you’ll learn about a topic, then click your way through some questions to test your knowledge.
If you want the bells and whistles, scenario-based or Choose Your Own Adventure e-Learning courses are far more entertaining.
Choose Your Own Adventure stories are no longer just for video games. They’ve made their way into films – like Netflix’s Bandersnatch – VR and e-Learning programs. And the outcomes are awesome.
Instead of the standard one-way path, learners select choices based on scenarios to navigate through a non-linear course. This highly interactive style means learners can alter their journey and discover the consequences of their actions further down the line.
Not only is this far more aligned to real life situations, but learners are more likely to stay alert and really think before they click.
We thrive on using a variety of multimedia to help businesses engage and train their employees – whether that’s online, in Perth or across Australia.