Sramana Mitra: What are you doing with your legacy courses? Are you chopping them up?
Victoria Zambito: Yes. Vector Solutions has over 6,000 courses. Actually going in and hand-chopping them up would take a lot of time. We had our development team look at our courses. They looked at the metadata inside the course and how video files were built and how slides were built. They were thinking about an automated way of decompiling the course into bits and pieces so that we can offer them up in, what we call, micro-learning. They also found a way to pull out the metadata around those pieces so we can tag the pieces with metadata. Having all the pieces is one thing but being able to curate them and find what you need when you need it is another thing. They ran it through and we’ve tagged all of that content.
We started with 600 courses, and we chopped them up. We have about 10,000 learning objects. Any new development going forward is done in a micro-format. If we need a longer course, we tie the pieces together but going forward, we’re developing that way from the start.
Sramana Mitra: When you look at the online learning universe, where do you see the industry moving and where are open problems to start new companies?
Victoria Zambito: I do think that the industry is moving towards more engaging content. There’s a lot of talk around virtual reality and augmented reality. There is definitely a move to providing learning in a different sense. It’s not on your screen. The industry is definitely moving there. You’re bring trained every day wherever you are, whatever you are doing. It’s not on a computer screen. Maybe it’s on a handheld device. It’s definitely more woven into your everyday life.
I definitely think there’s a lot of room in the industry for this innovation and incubation of this technology. Someone also has to drive down the price so it becomes more affordable. As we all know, that happens over time with technology.
Sramana Mitra: Is augmented and virtual reality something you’re exploring within the scope of your work at Vector?
Victoria Zambito: Yes. Next month, we are doing our first course with 360-degree video. It’s a firefighter course on smoke reading. Once we’re done with that, we’re going to use that video to create a prototype app.
Sramana Mitra: Is there anything else you want to discuss on the trends on online learning?
Victoria Zambito: Another trend is making learning and learning solutions more into a closed-loop system that drives performance. It’s about making it more of a part of your everyday life. It’s this drive of thinking of learning as simply learning to being a part of a bigger ecosystem on performance.
Sramana Mitra: Great. Thank you for your time.
This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in Online Education: Victoria Zambito, SVP of Content and Communications at Vector Solutions