The Benefits of Online Learning

Using Digital Technology to Enhance the Visitor Experience

This week’s guest blog is by Leanne Rinning of StormID. StormID are delivering a presentation on the Bannockburn Experience at the ETAG Technology Solutions for tourism conference taking place on 20th March 2015 in Edinburgh.   ICS are working in partnership with ETAG & Scottish Enterprise to deliver this event.  Find out more here.

Online learning, or e-learning, offers a number of advantages for people and companies looking to develop a new content program or curriculum — none bigger than the ability to offer that training anywhere, anytime. That means whether your trainees are all together in a classroom or scattered all over the world in different time zones, they can still tap into the same course materials at a time that’s convenient to them.

With the increasing popularity of harnessing digital technology to enhance learning experiences, Storm ID has observed a rise in companies and organisations looking for online learning solutions. Over the last couple of years, we’ve been developing more and more of these solutions for a range of clients spanning the health, finance, sport and leisure sectors.

The Project

In 2013, Storm ID was appointed to support and extend the learning experience offered at the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre in Stirling, Scotland.

The centre opened its doors in March 2014 to mark the 700th anniversary of the great Battle. Learning lies at the core of the Bannockburn centre, enabled by a cutting edge visitor experience.  This learning initiative in part supports the Curriculum for Excellence, ensuring that Scottish history and heritage is at the heart of school learning.

For 30,000 school visits annually the new visitor centre allows participation in a ‘virtual battle’ to learn first-hand about the battle. Life-size, 3D audio-visual presentations tell of tactics, weapons and incredible stories behind the people who fought at Bannockburn.

The Approach

The eLearning solution supports and extends the learning experience of Bannockburn for before and after school visits. To accomplish this, the website needed to meet the following objectives:

  • Engage users with the weapons, armour and artefacts of that period and bring to life the stories and characters involved in the events leading up to the battle
  • Ensure that the content is curriculum based, stimulating and historically accurate
  • Maximise support for teachers

One of the first steps of this project was to hold workshops with school teachers. This enabled our team to shape the functionality of the eLearning solution. Together, they determined the solution should support the following requirements:

  • An innovative Battle encyclopaedia “Battlepedia” that would allow visitors to increase their knowledge of the weapons, armour and characters of the battle in a way never been seen before.
  • Use of light and fun assessments utilising gamification techniques.
  • A comprehensive learning guide for teachers planning class room learning or visits.
  • Designed around the context of the class room.

The Results

A dedicated eLearning website that is both visually rich and historically accurate, designed around the needs of the teaching environment and integrated into Curriculum for Excellence.

Designed for class room context:

The Battlepedia has been designed for classroom whiteboard use and the website is fully responsive so that users can view on tablets in the classroom whilst teaching assets can be used as required for worksheets, homework or as part of pupil projects and presentations.

Each entry also contains links to all other related areas for connected entries allowing the teacher and pupils to roam freely and safely through the site and uncover its many stories.

Learning website homepage:

learning website homepage

Battlepedia:

Storm ID worked closely with the team behind the 3D media at the centre – The CDDV at Glasgow School of Art – and a panel of historical experts to generate a bank of assets around the people, artefacts and weaponry that would provide an immersive 3D experience and where possible be examined from every angle.

360 3D View

Users can control the view of images for a 360 3D view

Battlepedia

Quizzes:

We employed gamification techniques to allow users to test their knowledge, challenge their school mates and earn a certificate from the Quizmaster.

quizzes

Teacher Guides:

Teachers can find an abundance of information to plan a visit and plan post-visit activities. Teaching themes are also provided on topics such as knights and castles, wars of independence and medieval life in Scotland.

teachers guide

Effectiveness

Colan Meheffey, Head of Digital Engagement, National Trust for Scotland said:

“We’re exceptionally proud of this as it matches the vision and engagement of the award-winning Visitor Centre. More than bringing history to life, we want to interact with users through the very principles that defines the Visitor Centre. In the upcoming school year the resource will be invaluable in feeding in to the educational experience, on this vital topic which engages with the Curriculum for Excellence.

 “The website will not only transform the understanding of those who visit but the culture of the National Trust for Scotland in delivering educational experiences online.”

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