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  • Design Standards for Immersive Learning Environments
    Recommendations from the FAIDS working group at iLRN Annual Meeting 2022

  • Workshop Series: Vienna 2022

    As a feature of the iLRN Annual Meeting 2022 in Vienna, Austria, a small cohort of iLRN members organized a series of workshops led by Ian Roy, Jordan Tynes, and Maritina Keleri. Our goal for these in-person workshops was to begin exploring the possibilities of “standards” for the creation and use of Immersive Learning Environments (ILEs). Over the course of four days, this team implemented a methodology, which was called the “Framework for Aggregation and Identification of Design Standards” (FAIDS) to facilitate discussions among the variety of experts attending the annual meeting. What resulted was a tremendous outpouring of ideas associated, broadly speaking, with four core aspects of effective development and use of ILEs: Technical Standards, Engagement Standards, Narrative Development Standards, and Standards for the Development of Embodiment.

    Below are a set of unofficial recommendations that came from this process. These recommendations are intended to generate further conversation about how design standards can be used to improve the ILEs we create and/or utilize to serve practitioners' pedagogical goals. These recommendations can help designers who are actively working on ILEs, but this working group plans to continue refining these at future iLRN meetings and events. Eventually, FAIDS plans to partner with other portions of the iLRN organization to offer a refined set of standards for reviewing.




  • Workshop #1: Technical Standards

    These recommendations focus on the backend technology that supports the creation, implementation, and distribution of ILEs.

    Questions used in the workshop to prompt attendees to consider these issues:

    • We mean “technology” rather than “technical”.
    • What technology is being used?
    • What technology-related expertise is needed?
    • What techniques are being used to develop and implement technology?

    Technical Recommendations:

    • An onboarding process -- such as a tutorial, intro, or orientation, etc -- for the user experience should be developed.
    • There should be a clear connection between choice of medium/hardware (eg. VR vs XR vs AR) and predetermined learning goals.
    • The designer should consider real physical safety and the platform should give the impression of safety to the users of the experience (Note: there may be circumstances when the simulation of physical safety might be suspended in the ILE experience).
    • Privacy of user data collection is critical in the context of learning.
    • Technical minimums -- such as framerate, resolution, physical accessibility, etc -- should be researched and implemented.
    • You should consider researching the immediate and long-term effects of use of the experience.


  • Workshop #2: Engagement Standards

    These recommendations focus on how educators and designers can think critically about how they are engaging learners through ILEs.

    Questions used in the workshop to prompt attendees to consider these issues:

    • What is the context in which this ILE is being used? Are there any
      pre-existing learning goals?
    • Who is the user? How are they using this ILE?
    • How was success measured?
    • How was this launched and marketed?

    Engagement Recommendations:

    • Facilitators for immersive learning experiences should be knowledgeable of the platform and ready to train users. For developers, this may require creating guides for educators and facilitators.
    • User experience should improve with repeated use.
    • The ILE should leave an impression on the user that advances their understanding of a subject related to learning goals.
    • The purpose of the experience should be defined and clearly stated to the user.
    • Learning outcomes should be clearly observable to the user, educator, and/or facilitator.
    • Customizability of end-user implementation should be an option.
    • Accessibility -- physical, physiological, and cultural -- should be considered from a range of perspectives relevant to the users of the experience.
    • Modalities should be consistent throughout the experience, from start to finish.


  • Workshop #3: Narrative Standards

    These recommendations focus on one potential and frequently used method for Engagement: the story of the user experiencing the ILE.

    Questions used in the workshop to prompt attendees to consider these issues:

    • What story is created by the ILE?
    • What story is created by the act of using the ILE? What is the story of the life of the ILE?
    • What design elements support this story?

    Narrative Development Recommendations:

    • There is a distinction between tutorials of platform usage and introduction of the learning experience. These should be complementary and potentially integrated with each other.
    • Methods of interactivity and opportunities for interaction should be clear to the user and relevant to the affordance of the medium.
    • The target audience should be defined and clearly stated.
    • Audience expectations should be carefully set.
    • User agency enabled by the platform should be clear and consistent.
    • Developers should be aware of how credits for production (attributions) are being shared with users.
    • Pacing, segmenting, and sequencing of narrative are important and should be considered.


  • Workshop #4: Creative Standards

    The workshop on Art & Design in ILEs focused on the “standards” of Embodiment, as a factor of experiencing such immersive experiences. Two projects were shown as examples of Art ILEs where the aim is the familiarization, communication, and awareness of the human condition.

    Questions used in the workshop to prompt attendees to consider these issues:

    • What does embodiment mean for an Art & VR work?
    • Does it affect the Audience’s Experience? How?
    • Subjective or Objective? Is it Important? Does it even make sense?
    • Resonance with the Artist’s thoughts?

    Recommendations for Development of Embodiment:

    • Content warnings should be clear and they should set user expectations for the emotional and psychological impact of the ILE.
    • Sensitivity should be given to methods for representing real world environments and cultures.
    • Psychological presence is key to embodiment, and methods for creating it should be considered.
    • Technical (hardware) and spatial (physical space) requirements should be included with the product.



  • faids-ilrn2023.png

    Next Steps

    The FAIDS working group will continue to develop these recommendations by hosting a series of conversations in the lead up to iLRN’s Annual Meeting in 2023.


  • “Framework for Aggregation and Identification
    of Design Standards” (FAIDS)

    FAIDS is a working group formed as a part of the 2022 iLRN Annual Meeting. It currently consists of Ian Roy (Director for Research Technology and Innovation, Brandeis University), Jordan Tynes (Lecturer in Computer Science and Director of Media Arts & Sciences, Wellesley College), Maritina Keleri (Architect based in London PhD, University of Westminster). FAIDS continues to develop their methodology for identifying standards related to building in learning tools with technology.



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