Virtual Tours in Online Training

Click on the image to view the demo

This interactive demo was created as part of the e-Learning Heroes weekly e-Learning design challenge – #44 Virtual Tours in Online Training.

The Concept

Virtual tours are a great way for learners to experience remote locations and this challenge was to “design a virtual tour of a real or fictional location”.

Having looked through the examples provided as inspiration for the design challenge, I decided to put together an interactive virtual tour based on an upcoming holiday we were planning.

The Design and The Process

I used Articulate Storyline to develop the design.  I started by sourcing a colourful map of the tour location, then adding some markers at destination points on the map.  To simulate the actual travelling along the tour route, as well as numbering the destination points, I used disabled states on the map markers and added triggers to change the states after the previous marker had been visited, although I decided to add the hover feature displaying the destination point names to indicate where the tour was going.  I created these signs using PowerPoint shapes and text, based on the appearance of actual road signs.

I wanted the tour to be educational as well, so at each destination point I added information about the town or city and some interactive elements to keep learners engaged.

I tried out some design techniques that I hadn’t used before with the drag and drop images, ie the cut-out effect which ended up being very easy to do.  Once you’ve chosen your image and removed any background, you draw a free-form shape around the image (in PowerPoint), remove the outline and fill the shape with a paper type texture image, then send that shape to the back of the image.  You then save the two images as a picture and use the picture image – I also added a shadow effect.

Collage

I created a slideshow of photos of each destination point in PowerPoint and exported these in a video format, then added the videos to each of the destination slides in Storyline.  I again incorporated interactivity which required the learner to click to play the video, but left the ability to close the video at any point open.

Once I had the map and destination points, I felt the design needed a bit more introduction, so I added the information at the beginning to set the scene for the actual experience of a tour of Outback Australia.

The Result

I had a lot of fun incorporating the drag-and-drop elements and I felt that all of these visual elements engaged the learner and got them thinking about the tour and conditions they might encounter along the way.

There were a number of timing and navigation decisions I needed to make during the development of this design and based on feedback I’ve received since, I would possibly open up the ability for learners to revisit some of the destinations before they got to the end, rather than having to restart the course.

You can view just the drag-and-drop activities at the beginning of the course by clicking on the image below.

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