How to increase engagement with immersive learning in Moodle

August 4, 2023 By Barnana Sarkar

Immersive learning captivates and engages learners, fostering deeper understanding and retention of knowledge through active participation in the topic. Some Moodle Certified Integrations, like Near-Life, help users incorporate multimedia elements such as videos, images, and audio to make the learning experience more captivating.

About Near-Life

Near-Life is an easy-to-use platform that lets educators and learning professionals create interactive video, VR and gamified content quickly and easily, so they can share immersive experiences that are more engaging, ‌memorable and impactful.

Some of the key benefits of Near-Life’s platform include:

  • Making content more immersive by providing learners a VR video experience with 180 and 360 video.
  • Including interactive hotspots where learners can interact directly with objects and images.
  • Adding elements such as scoring, conditions, and achievements to create anything from simple quizzes to complex simulations.
  • Designing, building, and sharing branching scenarios where the next steps of the learning are based on the user replies.

What is immersive learning and how does it work?

Immersive learning refers to an educational approach that fully engages learners in a dynamic and interactive environment, allowing them to deeply explore and experience the subject matter. It can be used as a broad umbrella term encompassing various techniques and methodologies aimed at enhancing the learning process – such as system immersion, narrative immersion, and challenge-based immersion. 

Let’s take a quick look at what each term means:

  • System immersion involves immersing students in realistic simulations or virtual environments that replicate real-world systems, providing hands-on experiences and opportunities for experimentation. 
  • Narrative immersion leverages storytelling elements and immersive narratives to captivate learners’ attention and foster emotional connections with the content. 
  • Challenge-based immersion encourages learners to tackle complex problems or tasks, promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

The short answer to whether immersive learning works is — yes. 

In fact, learners can retain as much as 90% of the information when using an immersive approach, compared to 30% from hearing and 20% from seeing alone.  

Immersive learning seamlessly aligns with Kolb’s Learning Cycle, a methodology that describes how we acquire and retain new knowledge, consisting of four stages – concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation and active experimentation. As learners reflect on the hands-on experience of immersive learning, they engage in observation and analysis, while internalising their learning.

Here’s how strategies such as gamification intersect with Kolb’s Learning Cycle:

  • Concrete experience: Gamification in immersive learning provides learners with tangible and interactive experiences that form the foundation of the learning process. Through game-like activities, simulations, and challenges, learners engage in practical interactions, allowing them to have concrete experiences and encounter real-world scenarios within a safe learning environment.
  • Reflective observation: After experiencing gamified immersive activities, learners are more likely to reflect on their experiences. Gamification elements, such as progress tracking, badges, or leaderboards, provide learners with immediate feedback, allowing them to reflect on their strengths, areas for improvement, and strategies for achieving better results.
  • Abstract conceptualisation: Through great course design, the experience garnered through gamified activities will be converted into broader concepts and theories. As learners progress and unlock achievements, they make connections between their actions, the underlying concepts, and the theoretical frameworks. By seeing a specific scenario and by walking the road of abstraction, learners form a deeper understanding of the subject matter and its applicability in various contexts.
  • Active experimentation: The gamified nature of immersive learning environments motivates learners to apply their knowledge and skills in life-like scenarios. This way they are more familiar with the implication of their decisions and are better equipped to develop more effective strategies. 

Integrating with Moodle

Educators and trainers can easily build immersive learning content on the Near-Life platform and share it on Moodle. 

Near-Life leverages the power of the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard to seamlessly integrate the interactive videos created with Near-Life CREATOR into Moodle courses. LTI creates a trusted and secure connection between Near-Life Creator and Moodle, plus it ensures that updates and interactions between the two systems occur safely and reliably. With this trusted link, Near-Life CREATOR can securely update the content of Moodle LMS, providing a seamless user experience for learners and educators. 

Content generated with Near-Life CREATOR can also be directly made available to Moodle users via SCORM, a comprehensive set of standards and specifications that allows for the creation of reusable eLearning content. By utilising SCORM support in authoring tools and LMS, educators can receive comprehensive learning data that is reported directly within their system. By using Near-Life contents into Moodle via its SCORM capabilities, educators can gain valuable insights into learner engagement, progress, and ensure the availability of the right data within the Moodle courses.

Integrating Near-Life into Moodle enhances the immersive learning experience by aligning interactivity with learning objectives and providing clear outcomes for learners. By incorporating measurable success factors into the design, educators can effectively track progress and continuously improve the learning process. Considerations of cost, capacity, and the selection of the appropriate technical approach ensure seamless implementation of immersive learning within Moodle. 

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