The Learning Experience
Many people in the world of learning and development have been looking towards a future where advances in technology would enable live virtual delivery to play a more significant role in their training strategies. With its televisual approach and support for more tightly orchestrated forms of presentation and interaction the Illustra environment takes us into that brave new world. For the first time live virtual classes can provide engaging learning experiences that often go beyond what can be achieved in the traditional classroom
“Good teaching is one – fourth preparation and three- fourths theatre”
Gail Godwin – American author
The Evolution Of A New Medium
Early movies were simply stage performances that took place in front of a camera. Only later did moviemakers developed methods of storytelling which exploited the full potential of the new medium. Today we are still in the early stages of understanding the potential of live virtual technologies. To explore and develop this potential Illustra has put together a powerful team of people from the world of computing, television, and business training. We have also formed close alliances with leading subject matter experts and training providers from around the world. This multidisciplinary approach has resulted in an environment that enables fast paced tightly orchestrated workshops that attract extremely high levels of participation and engagement.
A focused learning environment
From the outset the Illustra design team wanted to minimize the distraction that working in a technological environment can have on the learning experience for both students and the coaches. The result is an environment that is probably one of the most sophisticated of its kind in terms of individual and team activities, role plays and simulations yet is definitely the simplest when it comes to ongoing operation from the point of view of both the participants and the coaches. In the Illustra environment coaches and trainers are discovering that the ability they have to move participants in and out of teams in an instant and to monitor individual and team inputs into exercises and activities in real time is empowering them in ways that were never possible in the traditional classroom.
Our design philosophy is based on a coaching approach to learning where the focus is on the crafting of artful questions that create space for learning, exploration, experimentation and plans for practical application. Typically an Illustra workshop will consist of 20% learning content and 80% practice and reflection on the challenges of practical application. Experience has shown that in the virtual environment this style of learning provokes maximum engagement and participation. The Illustra environment has been designed from the outset to support this approach to learning. Illustra is unique in being a company that designs and delivers training and at the same time designs and develops the environment and tools that enable that training to take place. This are resulting in virtual learning experiences that are helping to define the future of this new medium.
More than a software platform
We believe in providing complete production support for all aspects of the learning experience. Feedback provided over thousands of hours from both users and coaches clearly shows that this the best way to provide rich engaging learning experiences in the virtual environment. An Illustra session producer and at least one technical support specialist are integral to the success of every illustra workshop. The session producer supports the coach to ensure smooth operation and tight orchestration of all aspects of the workshop; enabling coaches and trainers to concentrate on what they do best, without having to be concerned about the technology. The support specialists ensure that any technical problems encountered by individual participants are dealt with quickly and in a manner that has minimum impact on the workshop as a whole. All participants inputs into workshops and programs are captured and immediately made available as an extension of the learning experience