Authoring Tools For Rapid VR-Based eLearning Development

Authoring Tools For Rapid VR-Based eLearning Development
Summary: With rapid eLearning expanding the scope of immersive learning, explore how authoring tools allow for VR-based rapid eLearning development.

Top 3 Authoring Tools For VR Development

Virtual Reality (VR) is our newest attempt at creating a simulated reality that allows the user to sense and experience an environment without actually being present there. VR offers an immersive learning experience, and it isn’t as expensive as you think—there are many authoring tools that allow the rapid development of VR courses.

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Why Does eLearning Need Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality in online training is not just another technological fad. Au contraire, more and more organizations are trying to adopt VR-based online training. According to market research [1], the global VR market is expected to reach USD 26.89 billion by 2022.

After all, for the longest time, one of the many problems with eLearning was the lack of hands-on experience, and VR courses will remedy that [2]. To top that, an immersive learning experience will engage learners’ senses, emotions, and cognitive functions—which will enhance the ability to grasp and retain information.

If VR is really able to do so much, why are L&D professionals still skeptical and not jumping on the bandwagon? Well… there are still a lot of myths and misinformation surrounding it. Most people think VR is not really necessary and traditional eLearning courses are fine as they are. And others believe VR is too complex to develop and expensive to scale.

While it’s true that you won’t need VR for every training requirement, you can’t deny its benefits while training learners with high-risk jobs. A VR training conducted by Yale University for surgical residents on performing gall bladder dissection concluded that the residents trained with VR performed 29% faster and are 6 times less likely to make mistakes [3].

As for complexity and expense in developing VR courses, you need not worry. Modern authoring tools are all capable of rapid eLearning content development using VR. Here are 3 popular rapid authoring tools for VR-based eLearning course development.

1. Adobe Captivate 2019

Among the industry’s most popular rapid authoring tools [4], Adobe Captivate has always been a hot favorite. It is always one step ahead of other rapid authoring tools with features that help in adopting new-age learning strategies [5]. And with its 2019 update, it has become one of the pioneer authoring tools that provide VR as a mainstream feature for rapid eLearning development.

The Virtual Reality project is part of the 360-degree learning feature offered by Captivate [6]. Contrary to popular opinion, you do not need any kind of coding or plugins. All developers need to do is import 360-degree images and videos and add interactivities. Interactivities include multiple hotspots that trigger audio, quizzes (multiple choice and true/false), text or transition to the next scene. As for the 360-degree images and videos, Adobe Captivate offers stock multimedia assets.

VR courses can be published to HTML5 for web browsers as well as to VR devices. Captivate supports many VR devices with customization but works best with Samsung Gear VR and Goggle Daydream VR.

2. Lectora CenarioVR

CenarioVR is a dedicated VR rapid authoring tool that comes as part of the Trivantis Suite [7]. It’s a SAS-based online tool which requires no download or installation and has an extremely low learning curve.

It allows the creation of immersive scenario-based learning to offer a real-life experience to learners. It’s the perfect solution for training learners on situational awareness.

Rapid eLearning development using CenarioVR is extremely easy and seamless [8]. All developers need to do is record images and videos (in JPG, PNG or MP4 formats) using 360-degree cameras such as Yi 360, Samsung Gear 360, Kodak PixPro, and Ricoh Theta SC and import to the online tool. CenarioVR allows multiple interactivities such as hotspots (visual and audio), quizzes, and info cards.

One major benefit Lectora CenarioVR has over other VR authoring tools is that it allows publishing to multiple formats, including:

  • HTML5 for hosting on a website or playing through any web browser
  • xAPI, SCORM [9] (1.2 and 2004) and cmi5 for LRS and LMS

CenarioVR also allows you to host the VR courses online which can be accessed through CenarioVR Live and its native mobile app. The best part about online hosting is its in-built analytics tool which tracks and generates detailed reports of learning activities.

CenarioVR also supports a range of VR gears such as Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive Focus, Samsung Gear VR, Pico G2 & G24K, and Cardboard headsets.

3. Modest3D Xplorer

Xplorer is yet another rapid authoring software which helps in developing VR courses and apps, without coding. It is part of the Modest3D software suite which requires licensing for access [10].

It has an intuitive slide-based interface and an abundance of built-in functionalities, including custom animations, to enable the rapid development of VR-based eLearning courses.

Xplorer can create immersive learning experiences with draw-on tools, x-ray view, animations, 3D labels, and hotspots. It allows multi-platform access across VR headsets, mobile apps, PCs, and other iOS and Android platforms. Xplorer is the best choice among rapid authoring tools when you need to create virtual classrooms and virtual walk-through experiences.

Summing It Up

So, whether you have an experiential training strategy or not, you can’t deny the benefits of immersive learning. Rapid eLearning development using VR may be a tad tricky and expensive compared to traditional interactive eLearning. However, it is essential in many fields such as training surgeons and engineers handling high-end machinery. Most of these rapid eLearning authoring tools with VR capabilities come with free-trial deals. So, try them, get your subscription, and start giving your learners a truly immersive learning experience.

Download the eBook Redefining Corporate Training With Rapid eLearning and join the webinar to get the chance to incorporate modern learning strategies into your training quickly and easily.


[1] Virtual Reality (VR) Market To Report Impressive Growth, Revenue To Surge To US$ 26.89 Billion by 2022

[2] AR and VR in eLearning: How Far and How Real?

[3] Virtual Reality Training Improves Operating Room Performance Results of a Randomized, Double-Blinded Study

[4] 4 Popular Authoring Tools to Facilitate Flash to HTML5 E-learning Conversion

[5] eLearning Design And The 'Right' Brain

[6] Virtual Reality Feature in Adobe Captivate 2019

[7] Experience Virtual Reality: VR Training & VR Authoring Software

[8] Looking for Rapid VR in eLearning? 5 Ways CenarioVR Makes it Possible

[9] AICC, SCORM and Tin Can: Know What They Are?


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