Google Cardboard and eLearning Studios

If you’ve attended a learning technologies conference in the last year, you’ll likely have seen at least one vendor demoing Virtual Reality (VR) training. We spotted e-Learning Studios at a conference recently and were impressed because their demo is tracked using xAPI and can be reported on in Watershed. It also uses the super-cheap Google Cardboard, making this kind of simulation much more feasible within your organization. This guide takes you through the process of trying out the VR demo on your Android phone, connecting it to your Watershed account and reporting on the data it generates. It’s a great example of how immersive choice-based VR simulations can be reported on in Watershed.

The e-Learning Studios VR demo can be run in touch mode or Cardboard mode. Cardboard mode is much more immersive, but requires you to have Google Cardboard. You can get started with touch mode right away.  

This guide has 3 steps:

Please note: Whilst Cardboard can work with a range of operating systems, the e-Learning Studios VR demo covered in this guide is only compatible with Android devices.

Get Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard is a cardboard cradle that transforms even relatively low-end smartphones into VR headsets. A Cardboard headset costs about $10-15 so if your learners already have access to phones, deploying Cardboard can be very inexpensive. See the Google Cardboard website for more information on how to buy (or make your own) Cardboard, or just head straight to Amazon.

Please note: There are two different specifications for Cardboard, one using a magnet and the other using a conductive strip. The e-Learning Studios VR demo will work with either, but your phone might not. Check with the manufacturer that your device is supported, or just buy one of each since they’re so cheap!

Setting up the e-Learning Studios demo

Once you’ve got Cardboard or if you want to try Touch mode whilst you wait for delivery, you’ll need to download and configure the VR demo. You can get the demo here or scan this QR code on your phone.

Please note: This demo is only compatible with Android devices.

Before putting your device into Cardboard, run the app and set up the configuration options. The first step is a disclaimer that explains that the demo is just a demo and should not be used to inform your actions in the event of a real fire. It also explains that anonymous data will be tracked to an LRS, though in this case we’re going to record the learner’s name and email. Tap Continue to accept the disclaimer. On some devices you may need to double-tap the buttons.

The next screen asks you to select Touch or Cardboard. Don’t make that choice yet! Instead, tap the cog in the top right hand corner. You’ll then enter your Watershed Endpoint, Username (this is called ‘Key’ in Watershed) and Password (‘Secret’ in Watershed). See How do I add an activity provider to Watershed? for an explanation of where to find those values. You’ll also enter an actor name and email. When you’re done, hit save and then the cross in the top left.

Please note: As this is a demo prototype, entering the configuration settings can be a little fiddly. If you’re planning to show Cardboard off to colleagues, your boss or a customer, we recommend completing those settings ahead of time. The settings are saved on your phone, so aside from changing the actor, you only need to enter them once.

With the settings complete, you can now select either Touch or Cardboard. If you can, we recommend using Cardboard. Touch is useful if you don’t have Cardboard yet or if you want to show the demo to a group of people all at the same time. You’ll be given some instructions and then taken into the tutorial - a white room with tasks designed to get you used to navigation. If you’re using Cardboard, insert your phone when the tutorial begins. Once the tutorial is complete, you’re taken into the office to start the simulation.

Please note: The tutorial is not tracked, only the tasks in the office. Also, on older devices the app may freeze at the end of the tutorial whilst the office loads. Don’t panic! It will load in a few seconds.

Tracking the demo in Watershed

Once you’ve connected the e-Learning Studios VR demo to Watershed and run through it once, you can configure Watershed cards to display the data. Data from the simulation works best using the Activity, Leaderboard and Correlation cards. Events within the simulation can also form part of an Interactions, Accomplishment or Skill.

Activity

Use the Activity Card to get an in depth view of how learner interacted with the simulation. Simply create a new Activity Card, and select The Fire Safety Training Simulator in the Activities filter.

Key questions answered: How many people have completed the simulation? How long did they take? What score did they get? How did they respond to each interaction? Which interactions are easiest and hardest?

Leaderboard

Use the Leaderboard Card to display a leaderboard comparing the success of different learners in the simulation. The leaderboard could look at first attempt, best attempt, most recent attempt or average score and time taken. Let’s look at most recent attempt as we hope learners will improve as they repeat the simulation.

Create a Leaderboard card, set the Card Text and then switch to Advanced configuration. Copy and paste the following to replace all of the code in Advanced configuration and then save the card. There is no need to switch back to simple configuration.

{
  "filter": {
    "activityIds": {
      "ids": [
        "http://www.e-learningstudios.com/xapi/activities/fire-safety-training-simulation-30092015"
      ],
      "regExp": false
    },
    "personIds": null,
    "groupIds": null,
    "dateFilter": {
      "dateType": "none",
      "trailingAmount": 1,
      "trailingType": "days",
      "customDateFrom": null,
      "customDateTo": null
    }
  },
  "dimension": {
    "type": "PERSON"
  },
  "measures": [
    {
      "name": "Time",
      "field": {
        "type": "DURATION",
        "id": "result.durationCentiseconds"
      },
      "aggregation": "LAST"
    },
    {
      "name": "Score",
      "field": {
        "type": "DOUBLE",
        "id": "result.score.scaled"
      },
      "aggregation": "LAST"
    },
    {
      "name": "Completion Count",
      "field": {
        "type": "LONG",
        "id": "result.completion"
      },
      "aggregation": "COUNT",
      "match": "true",
      "value": 0
    }
  ]
}

Key questions answered: Who was the fastest or slowest? How had the highest or lowest score? Who completed the simulation the most or least?

Correlation

Use the Correlation card to explore whether or not learners get better the more they complete the simulation. The simplest way to create the Correlation card is to copy the Leaderboard card you created above. Open the Leaderboard card and click Explore. Then select Correlation from the list of cards. Edit the Card Text and then Save as new card. This will create a Correlation card with the same measures as the Leaderboard card you created above. You can now investigate the correlations between Completion Count and your learners’ time and score for their most recent attempt.

Key questions answered: Do learners who complete the simulation more get faster? Do their scores improve?  

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