A key industry for companies and institutions is online and immersive learning. To accommodate these new technologies, headless learning management systems (headless LMS) are separated from backend services. These tools also offer cloud-based platforms with certified levels of security, reliability, and practicality.
Government organizations and military personnel use virtual, augmented and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) solutions that rely on unmatched security and functionality. A new wave of immersive technologies and platforms are facilitating this as these high-level organizations prepare for their digital transformations.
XR Today spoke to Rob Porter, Head of Marketing and Business Development, CoSo Cloud LLC to discuss the new headless software solution.
He examines how The Unconventional and CoSo Cloud are equipping Department of Defense (DoD) professionals with the soft skills needed for day-to-day operations.
CoSo Cloud is a state-of-the-art, headless, military learning management system (LMS) used by major institutions and organizations such as the United States Department of Defense (US DoD), Google, Apple, Raytheon and many others.
XR Today: Can you tell us a bit about your work with CoSo Cloud and what it aims to achieve?
Rob Porter: The CoSo Cloud is about completing learning solutions in businesses and government agencies. We’ve seen many times that out-of-the-box (OotB) virtual headless LMSs fall short of the organization’s unique goals.
Government agencies may have a particular focus on such solutions, which may not be the right method for them. Our goal is to use OotB tools to improve both the learner and managerial experience and to better align organizations towards their goals. This offers improved security, better integration workflows, more engaging virtual experiences, and more to make training and learning more valuable.
XR Today: What are the benefits of using such tools for learners in terms of online training?
Rob Porter: The benefits we’re seeing are faster time to market, faster turnaround times, and faster information support. These solutions are also more cost-effective as people move across the country and around the world.
It also allows for more flexibility in the ever-changing goals within programs. There may be some initial goals, outside influences, events, and specific mandates that affect these programs. By doing this virtually, we can quickly adapt and adjust these trainings so we stay on track with the overall goals of the organization.
XR Today: Was the COVID-19 pandemic a strong motivation to develop the solution?
Rob Porter: Our programming was in place before COVID-19. However, I think COVID has taught us to operate on a very large and global scale and to assess what works for us and what doesn’t.
We’ve seen a lot of knee-jerk reactions from across industries to bring everyone into virtual environments and gauge how to do that. In some cases we saw great successes and in others more great learning opportunities.
To improve these things, people really need to understand that in virtual learning environments we’re trying to take the tangible and put it in intangible environments. This is where VR comes into play.
VR has helped us a lot in bridging that gap and defining how to manage such goals and learning journeys. We need to determine how to get there and what to do afterward. These are the areas that we can improve through learning to improve learner engagement.
XR Today: What verticals do you work with outside of the Department of Defense?
Rob Porter: There is an opportunity to use aspects of VR, 360 video and cloud streaming solutions in VR headsets. This gives them the opportunity to look around and see what is happening with greater situational awareness.
We also have military and government personnel who travel the world and interact with different cultures. I think cultural awareness is also something that helps us integrate and communicate better with others.
Various visual and auditory cues are associated with cultures that we can replicate in virtual experiences. In addition, we can coach learners remotely with cameras to support them.
Currently, some of the programs we are looking at are positioned to facilitate language training through mentoring portals. Instructors lead these programs, and students can learn by seeing, hearing, and gathering country and regional perspectives. At the end of the day, this enhances the learning experience and adds tremendous value.
XR Today: Can you explain your partnership with NVIDIA and Adobe? How are these Metaverse companies helping your solution and pushing the envelope with immersive learning?
Rob Porter: In all honesty, we’re seeing tremendous advances in corporate and government education in these areas. If we look at multiple categories, we can focus on simulation and training. We can use VR to create simulated environments [as] a safe and cost-effective way for employees to learn new skills and practice real-life situations.
We’re also seeing other areas like onboarding, orientation, and others collaborating with global efforts to provide learners with more immersive, interactive onboarding experiences.
This helps them to engage and engage more with organizations and we certainly see virtual conferencing and collaboration facilitating brainstorming and creating think tank approaches.
Additionally, it is especially useful for remote teams and global organizations for soft skills training. This builds key employee talents in communication, leadership, empathy and other qualities. Learners can also practice these skills in safe, controlled environments using our headless LMS platform.
One of the biggest things I see is data visualization and analysis. We now have various data points available that we didn’t have before compared to working face-to-face in the classroom.
In all honesty, the time it takes individuals to write down details that caught their eye, you may have missed another important detail. Behaviors like microexpressions change instantly, but immersive and interactive data visualizations allow employers and learners to explore more complex datasets. This really gives a deeper insight into what the experience is all about.
XR Today: Anything else you would like to add?
Rob Porter: In general, there is a huge opportunity to expand. VR training is regularly used by the military and DoD. But as you keep moving, it keeps progressing and artificial intelligence (AI) improves that experience by 100x.
We see in immersive battlefield simulations, vehicle and equipment training and team coordination. At The Unconventional we really focus on language and culture training. Humans can use VR to simulate different language and culture scenarios, allowing soldiers and civilians to practice and improve their skills prior to deployment.
I think VR brings us so much closer to that real-world experience and better prepares people for real-world use.