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Learning concepts and trends to help transform your business

Comenius Award for Online Coaching

Posted by Brett Smith on Thu, Jun 30, 2016

SwissVBS is happy to announce that we have been awarded the 2016 Comenius EduMedia Seal for  multimedia, educational technology and media didactics. 

After 15 years of enabling more than 1.5 million learners to transform behaviour, increase skills and impact performance, we thought it would be a good time to actually start winning awards for all of this work! 

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Topics: SwissVBS, Customization, Storytelling, Awards, Online Coaching

Immersive Learning: What It Means and How To Do It

Posted by Dave Coodin on Thu, Jun 16, 2016

We hear it all the time in our industry: To succeed, eLearning needs to be engaging, fun, even different.

At SwissVBS, we tend to agree. At our core, we believe that learning shouldn’t feel like “capital L” Learning – something that’s good for you, but not necessarily good. As an instructional designer, I always say that my job is to create immersive experiences.

It’s a noble aim, but have you ever stopped to think about what “immersive” really means? It’s a term that’s thrown around so much that its meaning can sometimes get lost. What exactly is immersion, and what are its essential ingredients?

When you’re truly immersed, you forget that you are participating in an artificial construct. Think back to the most fun you’ve ever had playing a video game, whether it’s Grand Theft Auto or Pac-Man. You know that feeling when you look up at the clock after a few minutes and realize that hours have gone by? That’s immersion. It’s giving yourself over entirely to an experience, losing yourself in a constructed reality. For instructional designers, we need to be thinking constantly about how to reproduce that feeling, regardless of context or subject matter.

For a digital onboarding program for a major organization specializing in household consumer goods, we wanted to recreate the anxiety and excitement of the first day on the job. The end result was an experience that mimicked what a first day would look like through the eyes of a new employee – from a first-person point of view.

Luckily, a lot of research has been done to help us break down the various things we can do to create these kinds of experiences.

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Topics: SwissVBS, Customization, Storytelling, Learning Journey

The True Value of Customization

Posted by Dave Coodin on Thu, Apr 21, 2016

I used to live near a bakery that made the most delicious bread. Thick, doughy, and light as a cloud, to bite into it was to have your stomach filled and your spirit warmed. What always puzzled me, however, was the sign that hung out front: “Fresh bread, baked daily just for you.”

“Just for me?” I would wonder. If it was baked just for me, why didn’t I have any say into the ingredients? What if I wanted multigrain dough with poppy seeds? Or a dark rye with cinnamon? Although the bread was otherworldly, I didn’t like being told that it was made for me when clearly, it was not.

As an instructional designer, I feel the same twitch of irritation when I hear the word “customization” thrown around. “Custom eLearning, built just for you!” It’s a nice promise, but what does it really mean?

Too often, “customization” means selecting characters, interactivities, or visual assets from a menu, and plugging them into a template using an authoring tool. To be sure, there are advantages to this approach. From the designer’s perspective, it allows us to reuse the backbone of our eLearning with multiple clients, making it easier and cheaper to produce. From the client’s perspective, it allows you to get a sense of a solution before you commit; it also requires less work on your end to see a final result.

To me, however, customization means so much more.

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Topics: Customization