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Imagine you develop training solutions for a large healthcare company. Leadership is significantly revamping the company’s services, and you need to train thousands of managers to prepare for these changes.

That’s the challenge the learning professionals at Providence St. Joseph Health faced when the company launched “Health for a better world”—a plan to dramatically transform and enhance the company’s core services by 2022.


To educate thousands of managers in just three years, Providence’s learning professionals knew that relying on traditional classroom training wouldn’t be enough. They needed solutions that were both highly engaging and accessible—across different locations and schedules—to ensure that every manager was ready for Health for a better world.

That’s why Providence used Vyond and the AR app Zappar to create a dynamic, innovative training program.


Developing an award-winning AR training program

Prior to creating AR, video-based training, Providence taught their employees through Instructor-Led Training (ILT). In a classroom setting, managers would listen to and read scenarios and role-play to learn about a workplace topic.

“The modalities we used were passive and not especially captivating,” said Johnny Hamilton, Senior Learning Designer at Providence. “Managers, for example, during role-playing, didn’t always use a lot of emotion, so the scenarios lost their impact.”

To captivate its managers, Providence used Vyond and Zappar to create two types of training content: scenarios and job aids.


  • AR-enhanced scenarios: The teacher in an in-person lesson distributes an image card. Managers “zap” the image (scan the image with their smartphone) using the Zappar app, and it plays an animated Vyond scenario between a caregiver (employee) and their manager.
 Zappar scenario explanation 


  • AR-enhanced job aids: To teach managers outside of a classroom setting, Providence displayed a flyer about best practices for managing caregivers. Managers scanned the card to watch a Vyond video about how to run 1:1 meetings with their caregivers.


Providence used the design and delivery cycle to create this training content. The process starts with identifying a business need—training thousands of managers as a part of Health for a better world—and then brainstorming how employees might be trained to address that need.

 Design and delivery process 

In the design phase, Providence’s learning team was especially eager to use Vyond to create animated videos because the medium has been shown to engage learners.

“Animated videos support story-based learning design, which is a proven methodology to increase comprehension and retention of course material,” said Hamilton. “With animation, you can place the course content into a workplace context with characters and props, so learners can readily relate.”


Winning awards and increasing engagement with AR videos

From research to delivery, the work behind Providence’s video-based AR training paid off. The program received multiple awards from the learning and development community.

Providence is in good company—other winners include companies like Dell, UPS, Bank of America, and Domino’s. But beyond this recognition, their training proved to be a success internally. Managers gave positive feedback on the training: 80% agreed that the AR scenarios made the training content easier to understand and helped them apply the lessons to their work due mostly to video’s ability to hold their attention.

 focus and attention rates 

The AR-driven job aids were also received well by managers with an 80% play rate and a 78% engagement rate.


Job aid data

Providence Health hosts its videos in Wistia.

Learning professionals at Providence were pleased to see these strong results of the AR training program.

“Managers found this new training modality highly engaging and were extremely focused on the content,” said Hamilton. “This was a big win for us as we wanted learners to stay focused and energized during this activity, and they showed high rates of engagement and retention.”


Identifying ways to improve future training

Though the training was positively received, Hamilton and others on the team used tracking data to identify ways to improve future training content:

  • Keep your videos short. 75% of viewers watched up to two minutes of the job aid training video. The percentage of viewers drops off significantly after the two-minute point, so Providence plans to cap videos at two minutes in the future.
  • Blend approaches. While many managers enjoyed using the AR technology, engagement data showed that they still prefer to access training through traditional methods, such as clicking a link. For future training, both AR and conventional links will be used to reach as many employees as possible.
  • Track engagement to cater your delivery of training content to employees. Most views happened on Wednesdays, so the company is going to email future training videos mid-week from now on.

With these insights, Providence is ready to build more AR video-based training that leads to even greater comprehension and retention than their first program.


Planning more AR training initiatives for managers

Given how successful the job aids and scenarios were, more AR training programs are in the works at Providence:

Zappable name cards: Managers scan the back of their name tag with Zappar, and the app shows them Clinical Value Improvement (CVI) resources.

Zappable books: By zapping books in the company library, employees access videos of the author and a summary of the book.

Zappable onboarding: New hires scan objects around the office with Zappar to learn more about their new workplace and fellow employees via an AR-driven scavenger hunt.

Looking to future training programs, Providence will continue using Vyond as a part of their AR content. Hamilton notes that the tool has allowed them to create engaging lessons in a convenient, cost-effective way.

“We definitely will be using Vyond for our future training solutions. The tool allowed us to create training videos rapidly and at a low-cost point,” said Hamilton. “When the script needed to be changed, we quickly and easily swapped out the audio, changed the specific part of the scene, and republished the video – rather than having to reshoot an entire live-action video.”

Learn more about Providence St. Joseph’s microlearning and AR program in this Chief Learning Officer spotlight and click here to download the full whitepaper, This is What Happens When MicroLearning Meets Augmented Reality: An Augmented Reality Enhanced Whitepaper.