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ThingLink Announces A New Scenario Builder Product for Next Generation Learning and Development

Kyla Ball

The demand for more engaging learning solutions soars and organizations turn to create digital twins of their products, processes, and facilities. To respond, ThingLink introduces a new scenario builder product for quickly creating gamified 360-degree and 3D immersive learning experiences for any platform including virtual reality (VR).

The ThingLink Scenario Builder is an authoring tool for recreating real-life learning environments and situations in the cloud using interactive media. Developed along with the principles of Scenario-Based Learning (SBL), it allows educators to combine 2D, 3D, and 360-degree media into branched scenarios where learners can choose their path and move through a structured learning experience, exploring content, answering questions, and collecting points.

For ThingLink, the new Scenario Builder product is a logical next step in expanding towards the enterprise eLearning market.  ThingLink has pioneered developing dynamic hyperlinking technology for interactive media assets, immersive spaces, and virtual learning environments — unlike any other technology available. After introducing rich media annotation for images in 2011, ThingLink expanded to support video annotation (2014), 360-degree image annotation (2016), 360-degree video annotation (2019),  and earlier this year, 3D model annotation — all from the same interface. 

The ThingLink Scenario Builder makes it possible to organize these assets into branched learning scenarios that include:

  • Choices
  • Checkpoints
  • Questions
  • Data Collection

In addition, ThingLink has made these experiences easy to integrate into modern learning systems and communication tools such as Microsoft Teams. 

“Virtual tours, field trips, and VR games are more engaging than slideshows and video conferences, but they are not automatically the same as structured, personalized, trackable -and fun- learning experiences. This is why we developed the ThingLink Scenario Builder”, says ThingLink’s founder and CEO, Ulla-Maaria Koivula. “ThingLink Scenario Builder is a creator tool for developing next-generation learning experiences from the real world to the metaverse.”

Our goal is to introduce our teachers to easy ways for creating VR-materials so that they can then offer immersive learning experiences for their own students. We are going to use ThingLink’s scenario tool for creating authentic learning simulations that can bring more versatility into our learning environments. We are planning to gradually make virtual learning environments part of the learning path on the post secondary level for as many students as possible.

– Marika Peltonen, EdTech Specialist with Gradia and Heini Pennanen, Digital Coordination with Gradia

The ThingLink Scenario Builder lets you build gamified simulations from real environments for learning and development. There are three key aspects that set ThingLink Scenario Builder apart from other creator tools on the market. 

First of all, learning scenarios and simulations created with ThingLink Scenario Builder can consist of multiple types of visual assets: images, videos, 360 media, 3D models, and spaces, including digital twins. The result is a richer learning experience compared to a text-based or a 2D single-media scenario. 

Patria uses ThingLink Scenario Builder to train pilots.

The second advantage of ThingLink Scenario Builder is the super simple interface that keeps the structure of the learning experience at your sight as you are building and editing it. To add a new scene, a choice, a checkpoint, or a shortcut for the learner, you can simply click a plus sign. To edit any of the elements after publishing, you can easily go back and do so.

The third advantage of the ThingLink Scenario Builder is the unbeatable combination of rich media annotation options for the base media. This means that whether you decide to take the learner through a series of videos, slides, 3D models, or virtual tours, you can access ThingLink’s multimedia editor for including additional information, links, tips, voice instructions, or transitions along the way.  

Immersive learning scenarios introduce several benefits for business and educational organizations. Recent studies have shown that immersive learning environments and interactive activities are multiple times more likely to help students learn compared to traditional classroom learning or MOOCS. Virtual learning environments and simulations also make learning and development accessible for people in different locations and life situations. 

“The biggest advantage of learning scenarios is that they are not location or time dependent, learners can do it at their own time, and if you build in a certain order for the learner to proceed, you can still track their progress and take that into account in evaluation, if needed. I put together an online course on meeting techniques, and it worked well for creating a gradually progressing path that combines theory and practice. It suits well for situations where there is no one right answer, any answer will lead to learning.”

– Jaana Tikkala, Lecturer with the University of Jyväskylä

Scenario-based learning helps save time and money in logistics. When people can do mandatory safety drills and workplace orientation virtually, there are fewer costs involved in transportation, lodging, meals, and conference rooms. Immersive scenarios let people learn through trial and error, in a risk-free environment, without anyone judging over their shoulder. This reduces errors and misunderstandings at the workplace and improves motivation and retention.

“This is our first time using scenarios for employee training, but it seems to be a particularly good solution for making sure that a person knows the basics needed for being successful at their work. In addition to helping us get feedback on the individual knowledge level, ThingLink’s solution helps us test our own learning materials, are they clear enough and do people understand them.”

– Ari Hämäläinen, CEO at Norelco

The ThingLink Scenario Builder introduces users to a new level of learning analytics by providing a rich set of interaction and learner response data for detailed insights into engagement and time spent on individual activities.  This data provides organizations with valuable insights into learner behaviors, competencies, and how to optimize future learning experiences.  Going forward, enterprise customers will be able to evaluate individual, cohort, or aggregate performance on individual questions or the entire learning experience.

Interested in piloting ThingLink Scenario Builder? Sign up for a free eLearning account to get full access to all Scenario Builder features. When you are ready to publish, upgrade to Premium or contact us to learn more about our subscription options!

Learn more about ThingLink Scenario Builder from this Q&A with Ulla-Maaria Koivula.

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