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Canada’s First 360-Degree Virtual Reality eLearning Module for First Responders

26 June 2017

Canada's first 360-degree virtual reality enabled eLearning module. Image credit: PathwaysCanada's first 360-degree virtual reality enabled eLearning module. Image credit: Pathways

Virtual reality (VR) training is often expensive and cost prohibitive for most organizations, involving the development of complex and time-consuming digital animation. It also has expensive hardware requirements to control and enable. Pathways Training and eLearning Inc. (Pathways) has created a new and scalable VR solution that will help organizations’ learning ambitions.

St. John Ambulance (SJA) and Pathways have partnered to develop Canada’s first 360-degree virtual reality eLearning module. This module is a simulated mass casualty event that was filmed at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC.

Pathways' Managing Partner Kurt Tiltack explains, "Even in the rare event that an organization can afford the development investment, VR simply isn't practical for our clients because typically only one user can go through a program at a time."

Pathways removed this obstacle by creating custom code that facilitates 360-degree video that shifts from live action into virtual reality. The code allows the Pathways' team to embed clickable learning ‘hotspots’ from directly within the video. When the module is downloaded, an endless number of any users in any location can experience the VR on their smartphones with Google’s Cardboard Goggles.

SJA wanted immersive learning that could replace ‘real-world’ experience for their medical first responders. "We were looking for a way to remove some of the psychological barriers around first aid by creating a simulation that was as real as possible," said Stevan Anas, Interaction Designer and Provincial Training Officer from SJA. "We also needed that solution to be cost effective, repeatable, consistent and easy to distribute over a large geographical area."

SJA is launching their Pathways' VR module on their Learning Management System. Now, their volunteers will be able to learn what disaster events are like and learn how to respond before they actually experience the event.

To learn more about Pathways and their learning experiences, visit the Pathways' site here.



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