Tag Archive: offshore elearning


Roll back to 1985, when Chip Morningstar and Joseph Romero in designing LucasFilm’s multi-palyer online game Habitat.  This is when the word ‘Avatar’ was coined in its then context. Since then Avatars, Actors and Characters have some terms that describe the virtual representation of the player or user in varied contexts.

In the recent years, a stigma of focused effort has been constituted to establish a social context between the learner and the learning platform (be it any form of learning content).

In simple and practical terms, a Character or Avatar creates a social representation of a real person into a designated role within the learning program. Relating this to the current Healthcare Learning and Educational landscape, the involved persons are majorly Physicians, Students, Clinicians, Academicians and other allied healthcare professionals. Each individual applies to its specific competency role in the industry.

As we speak about the industry specific title, each title is entitled to a role which performs its designated role in a Practice-Based environment. A Practice-Based environment demands only and only Practice in Practical.

The challenge here is how does e-Learning transform learning to be virtual yet practical. How can e-Learning in it’s inorganic matter deliver results similar to that of organic and practical methods.

Avatars play the bridging role here. An Avatar can play various social roles.

Expert/ Instructor/ Coach: Here the character is modeled after an expert or knowledgeable human – most commonly a senior surgeon, professor, training manager/head or expert in the field such as a regulation,etc. Effective use of this role with the help of an Avatar ensures social engagement between the character (Avatar) and the student through a conversational tone, interaction, and feedback.

Learner/ User: An Avatar of learning establishes the emotional presence of the learner into the learning scenario. It simulates the learner’s belongingness within the learning context and situation. An Avatar created with situational and curriculum based contextual engagement allows the emotive mind of the learner to dwell into imaginative and experiential learning.

C0-learners or Peers: Avatars of co-learners or learning buddies create a sense of being accompanied. It helps eliminate the loneness factor of the learner and builds a scope of togetherness into the learning environment.

Immersive e-learning

In the study, We Learn Better Together: Enhancing e-Learning with Emotional Characters (2005) by Heidi Maldonado et al., it is discovered that the presence of a Co-learner resulted in learners performing better. Students with a Co-learner scored significantly higher than students without a Co-learner.

Google has brought many a resourceful applications through Google Labs.

Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program that was originally called EarthViewer 3D, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a company acquired by Google in 2004. The product was re-released as Google Earth in 2005.

Google launched the Google Maps API in June 2005 to allow developers to integrate Google Maps into their websites.

The list goes long with Google books, calendar, news, search, videos, wave and so on.

Last year Google launched its new high-tech 3D product- Google Body. Google Body is a detailed 3D model of the human body. You can peel back anatomical layers, zoom in, and navigate to parts that interest you. Click to identify anatomy, or search for muscles, organs, bones and more.

One can also share the exact scene being viewed by copying and pasting the corresponding URL.

Google Body, which is already available in web form, can now run on Android tablets that use the 3.0 Honeycomb version of Google’s mobile operating system. Using 3D graphics capabilities of the latest tablets such as Motorola’s Xoom, the hardware is now good enough to properly display a 3D-heavy app such as Google Body, which lets you look at your organs, muscles and bones.

It looks like a pretty cool way to explore the human body – just like earth or maps, you can strip away layers (i.e. skin, bones, etc.), rotate it in 3D, and search for body parts before having them highlighted in the app. Teachers are gonna have a gala time giving anatomy classes to students.

Healthcare institutions spend enormous time and effort to train their workforce. Web-based training can streamline this process to a great extent. The article evaluates the advantages of healthcare professionals with web-based training.

Large healthcare facilities are required to educate their workforce about various regulations and to document this training. Initiatives like the Privacy Rule of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the National Patient Safety Goals of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) are just two recent examples. In addition, health care professionals require training on equipment, skills and software. Using traditional methods such as instructor- led classes to train a large and diverse workforce is time consuming, expensive and labor-intensive. Webbased training can potentially overcome these limitations.

Web-based training provides learners with any-time access to the training courses, is self-paced, eliminates the need to travel, is less disruptive for the work schedule, and can decrease the time associated with learning by as much as o 30%. Moreover, it can substantially save time for the faculty and instructors since web-based training can be developed once and delivered multiple times across various locations. Published studies evaluating web-based education and training have shown that web-based education is at least as effective as traditional education, that it is likely to be more efficient and that learners enjoy it more. These advantages make web-based training a very attractive option for training healthcare personnel efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, many hospitals and clinics are upgrading their information technology infrastructure as they increasingly adopt electronic health records. This infrastructure can also support the utilization of web-based training.

Training healthcare professionals is not an easy task due to inherent characteristics such as shift work, moderate to high employee turnover, and the difficulty in organizing group-training sessions due to conflicts with clinical responsibilities . Web-based training can be deployed for healthcare workforce spread over different geographic areas, without compromising learner satisfaction. At InfoPro, we developed a comprehensive suite of web-based courses on various therapeutic areas. These courses were developed using print based medical literature and presenation kits used in medical symposiums as reference curriculum materials. Our client was able to train about 18,000 professionals, including physicians, researchers, pharmacists, nurses, nutritionists and trainees in these fields, across different hospital systems within a short span of two months. Satisfaction ration was over three-quarters of the attendants. Learners were very satisfied with web-based training and most of them felt that the course was relevant and helpful for enhancing their understanding of the subject.

In addition to time savings and enhanced 24-hour access to courses, web-based training can also yield a good return on investment (ROI).

Studies suggest that web-based training can reduce up to 70% of employers’ training budgets by eliminating employee travel from offsite locations, cost of updating printed materials, and reducing the amount of time that employees spend overall in the training activity.

Moreover, as institutions increasingly adopt electronic health records, they will need to upgrade their hardware infrastructure, which will also support the deployment of web-based training without incurring significant overhead cost. Thus, we believe that well-designed web-based training can yield an excellent ROI for healthcare systems challenged with perennial workforce training and the need for increased documentation for regulatory compliance.