All You Need to Know About Creating an Immersive Learning Experience

Shaye Pum-arporn
Shaye Pum-arporn and Katharyn Fortin
08/02/21
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As many organizations & industries fight through the 2020 new normal, one of the highest impacts has been training and learning sectors.

While many others may have settled for good-old video conferences or webinars to replace their training system, what if it’s not enough – and you’re missing that real-life experience & interaction? Then creating a 3D immersive learning experience might be the solution for you.

We welcomed Katharyn Fortin, Founder & President today of Fortech, one of the leading online learning experts to share with us her thoughts on the uprising of advanced technology like Immersive Learning for corporate & education training.

Shaye Pum-arporn

How Did Fortech Start?

Katharyn Fortin

Fortech started organically in 2012. I started getting contracts on my own and started pulling in people from my network to work on larger projects and it just grew from getting constant referrals from various people in the industry.

Shaye Pum-arporn

What Is 3D Immersive Learning?

Katharyn Fortin

Immersive Learning is where we create training. Some of it is bringing the job site to the classroom or to the Virtual Classroom and being able to conduct hands-on training, for legal or safety reasons and you could not do it in real life.

If you could think of playing the Sims and you’re walking around with an avatar that is what a 3D immersive environment is like. You’re interacting with the environment for the training and learning within the platform.

Shaye Pum-arporn

That is fantastic! I believe since the lockdown, on-site training is extremely limiting in most countries, so this type of training would come in handy for many organizations.

Katharyn Fortin

Yeah, it is! It’s very cost-effective because once you’ve built your environment you can use it over and over again or expand on it without starting again from scratch.

Shaye Pum-arporn

Do You Think Immersive Learning Will Be One of the Trends for 2021?

Katharyn Fortin

Yes, I think it will. I think because of the pandemic and not being able to train face to face the 3D immersive environment could really help with the remote learning and create more connection. We have found from our studies that learners have a lot more interaction with this type of training and it allows people to feel safer and ask more questions during the training.

Shaye Pum-arporn

What Do You Need to Have in Ready to Go, if You Want to Create a 3D Course?

Katharyn Fortin

If you want to start having a 3D course, you need an idea! Our team of experts can bring your idea and make it into a reality for a virtual training world. You can start with any training materials you have right now whether it’s any PDF, document or a real-life scenario video we can start building a simulation scenario. This is also a lot more cost-effective in the long term.

Shaye Pum-arporn

I Can See This Way of Training Is Much More Fun Than Normal Classroom-Style Training. Imagine if You Have to Fly Someone in From Interstate to Attend Training, You Have to Provide Accommodation & Travelling Expenses. This Way of Training Is Much Easier.

Katharyn Fortin

That’s exactly it. When we talk to companies about their training strategy program, if you put A preliminary courses, even if it is just 30 minutes, you can do training on entry-level from their home instead of schedule to do it in person and have to pay off so many expenses for the entire training you can do several courses from remote without paying for those travelling expenses.

Fortech’s 3D Winery Workplace Example

Fortech’s 3D Winery Workplace Example

Use Architectural Renderings To Create Realistic 3D Models

Use Architectural Renderings To Create Realistic 3D Models

Use Architectural Renderings To Create Realistic 3D Models

Use Architectural Renderings To Create Realistic 3D Models

Shaye Pum-arporn

It’s another option to save a lot of time as well. Instead of flying for 3-4 hours, you could get it done within 1 hour or less!

Shaye Pum-arporn

Is 3D Course Affordable to Most Organisations?

Katharyn Fortin

When you look at what an advanced course will cost and take the standard of training into account, which is about 120 hours of development and to have it extremely interactive it will be on the same level as a 3D course or somewhere around there, it will give you a good starting point.

You can take a one hour course you may have and build it, it should be under $20,000 (USD). You can use it in many different trainings as well. We can tweak & adjust things like adding additional factors of the courses, and it took less than 10 hours to build, and the initial $20,000 was included. The good thing about the 3D course is it can be a self-paced environment, and it can accommodate as many people as possible within the same time – just like in the classroom!

The starting guide price depends on how complex and how hands-on you want to be. We can also try to utilize many open-source coding to keep the cost down.

“I love helping companies build their own 3D training!” - Kathryn Fortin
Shaye Pum-arporn

Do You Think It’s Easy to Integrate 3D Training Into a Learning Management System (LMS) or Human Resource System?

Katharyn Fortin

We are looking into it. So it is still in a building state. However, the report in detail can be exported. You can get data about the activities such as how long they have been in there or what they have done in the course and those could be integrated and added into an LMS platform later.

Shaye Pum-arporn

What Type of Organisations or Learners That Could Benefit From 3D Immersive Learning?

Katharyn Fortin

Anybody with a blue-collar job type or a need for compliance courses. We have been working with various types of organizations, from construction to health and safety. We can have the training on how to troubleshoot things like a printer or a fridge anything – at all with a scenario. A real-life scenario. You can teach how to change the oil to your car. There are no limits on what you want to teach!

We do use it a lot for soft-skill as well. You can use a virtual world to create an inappropriate scenario where when your learner wal-in, they can choose their action to interact with the correct answers.

Shaye Pum-arporn

Any Sample Projects You’ve Worked With That Might Ignite Some Ideas?

Katharyn Fortin

We have worked with the energy industry, assisting them in training building departments on how to apply the energy code on-site. In other industries, we have also set up training on how to estimate professional painting jobs and also soft skills like harassment, compliance, change management, and leadership training as well.

Link to samples of Fortech’s training

Shaye Pum-arporn

What Do You Think Are the Factors in Order to Create Digital Transformation in the Education Sector?

Katharyn Fortin

I think the 3D world could be utilized much more, especially in fourth grade to twelve grade, instead of just using a computer. They can attend a virtual classroom and interact with the teacher just like in The Sims or the switch games by Nintendo’s like Animal Crossing – where you can sit in a virtual classroom on your desk with your own avatar and interact with people there. I believe that you would have more engagement where a lot of teachers are struggling right now with video conference tools trying to get students to interact.

You could get students to attend from anywhere in the world.

And you can also get students to participate in activities – there are just so many different things you can do!

As the event comes to an end, we reflected on what we’ve learned from many professors, lecturers, and educators who have been working tirelessly during this changing time to adapt to the new norm. There are still many organizations out there that are in need of support when it comes to adapting to learning technologies. But this type of event provides the perfect platform for that. It allows people to come together, learn from each other, ask questions, and hopefully walk away inspired.

“You can be in Ghana attending US school. You could be from Australia, attending Japanese high school – it will eliminate the physical barriers completely”.

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About the Author

Shaye Pum-arporn
Shaye Pum-arporn
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