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DevLearn 2016: Video, Simulations, M-Learning, and a Pinch of Magic

5 minutes

DevLearn, the world’s largest e-Learning conference and expo, was held November 16-18 this year and brought together over 2000 participants.

Involvement techniques were the main theme of the event. The keynote speakers, a movie-maker from Pixar and magician and entertainer Penn Gillet of Penn&Teller, shared some tips and tricks about how to hold learners’ attention. They talked about adding a pinch of magic to learning; in other words, infusing courses with excitement and turning them into a thrilling story.

iSpring at DevLearn 2016

The first cmi5 solution

We at iSpring have a time-honored tradition of presenting something new and cool at DevLearn. For our 8th DevLearn participation, we’ve brought out the freshly-released iSpring Suite 8.5. This fully-stocked e-Learning toolkit was boosted with new options, cmi5 support among them.

iSpring Suite 8.5 is the first e-Learning authoring tool which allows you to create cmi5-compliant content. Cmi5 combines all the advantages of two modern e-Learning standards: it inherits the perfect mobile learning compatibility of the Tin Can API and adopts SCORM’s powerful means of activity reporting.

At the expo, iSpring and RISC announced together the release of the industry’s first cmi5 solution, which includes RISC LMS and an iSpring authoring tool.

As a premium sponsor of DevLearn 2016, iSpring sent a really big team to attend. All the DevLearners had a chance to personally chat with iSpring VP of Product Development Slava Uskov and ask him questions on what iSpring Suite would look like in a year and which new options were to appear. Tonya Smolentseva, the Head of Technical Support, was at the booth along with pros from her highly-skilled team. Everyone who had questions about using iSpring got an expert response and assistance immediately.

The team talked to and even helped hundreds of DevLearn participants over four days of the conference. They also gathered users’ feedback on the products and gave away books on e-Learning written by industry gurus.

Learner involvement: how to achieve?

We attend conferences not only to be seen, but to see how the experts anticipate the future of online learning.

We live in a world which constantly assails us with more and more info. As Google research shows, every two days we create as much data as we produced from the dawn of civilization through 2003; each day we consume amount of information equal to 174 newspapers. That’s why learning content has to be competitive enough to struggle for learners attention and retain it through the length of a course.
Educators are constantly looking for new means to involve and engage their learners, and there are several proven techniques which can add some “magic” to courses:

Video as an e-Learning tool

Video is used in a variety of ways in e-Learning: video illustrations attached to a course, videolectures, screencasts, learning using virtual reality headsets — to name just a few. Training through VR hasn’t become a common thing yet. The reason is simple: virtual reality “walk-throughs” are custom-designed for each certain task, be it driving a car or a medieval castle tour, and their production is quite costly. There is still a lack of tools which will allow fast and inexpensive creation of VR content.

Keep waiting, and we’ll probably see something at Devlearn 2017.


Simulations allow you to develop skills and familiarize yourself with actions or tools in an almost real-world environment.

Similar to VR training, simulators are often tailored solutions which are created for specific companies or tasks. Let’s take a simulator to train surgical skills as an example. Out-of-the-box simulators are available for two main fields: conversation simulations to train the soft skills of bank, shop or office employees, and software simulations, which allow learners to familiarize themselves with the interface and functionality of a new application.

Mobile learning

M-learning is not just any courses viewed on smartphones; these are courses and assessments developed as microlearning content. A course is divided into very small fragments and only one objective is achieved in each one, to fit into learners’ attention span. The pieces of info are so short, students simply have no time to lose their focus.

M-learning has been a trend for several years already; however when it comes to real world statistics, no more than 19% of learners view courses and take tests using their smartphones. The main issues here are adapting to the new M-learning principles and creating content which will play equally well in various browsers on various mobile devices. Ensuring the quality of mobile content was the topic of the session hosted by Mark Simon, a speaker from iSpring.

We at iSpring were thrilled to dive into the creative, sparkling and innovative DevLearn atmosphere once again. Personal thanks from our friends and clients are the things which highly motivate us to advance our tools and services.

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