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Immersive Learning for Professional Contractors

How the Professional Contractor Course Is Preventing 30 Billion Dollars of Utility and Environmental Damage and Increasing Worker Safety Using CenarioVR


Founded in 2015 as the only online provider of damage prevention training, Damage Prevention Academy (DPA) provides training resources to people in all areas of the damage prevention industry. They help organizations thrive by making highly effective, engaging learning experiences that close skill gaps by utilizing the latest technology and the best of custom and blended learning. 


Resulting in over 30 billion dollars of damage a year due to underground digging, DPA focuses on educating users on this preventable problem. Though each state has its own excavation and damage prevention laws, proper training is not required. Therefore, DPA faces a problem in user participation, engagement, and course completion.

Project expectations:

  1. Train excavators and contractors in the states of California and Nevada on how to reduce accidental line strikes, accidents, and injuries 
  2. Create a more engaging and interactive training format so learners are willing to complete it without it being required. 

Training goals:

  • Increase completion rates from the current 50-60%
  • Increase competency and knowledge of learners on excavation safety
  • Increase engagement of learners 

Strategy & Solution

DPA utilized the ELB Learning product CenarioVR® to enhance engagement by immersing workers in a virtual and immersive 360-degree environment


Immersive 360-degree VR training offered to contractors and excavators solved Damage Prevention Academy’s learning objective in a few ways.

  • The VR course increased worker safety and decreased environmental damage 
  • The more engaging, convenient learning format motivated workers to complete the non-required training

This course, aimed at training excavators and contractors, was designed to reduce line strikes, and accidents to avoid injuries. By utilizing a VR format, the training immerses learners in the underground digging scene, allowing them to interact and engage with equipment as if they were on the work site. This training hereby increases awareness of safety measures and prevents potential pollution or damage. 

Since the training wasn’t required by the state, learners felt unmotivated to complete the training. However, the interactive, engaging elements of VR made the learning enjoyable and motivated them to complete it. This resulted in increased completion rates from 50-60% to over 70%. 

Design and Structure of VR Training

The scenario was developed through a storyboard and script, followed by DPA conducting a 360-degree photoshoot on an active construction site just off the strip in Las Vegas. Then the footage was uploaded into CenarioVR. 

16 to 18 educational videos were utilized throughout the entire course. They included interactive step-by-step processes, from making the call to 811 all the way to where they’re excavating and completing a project. 

To boost engagement, a celebrity was the spokesperson and narrator to entertain learners. At the end of the course, a certification of completion is triggered, which learners are able to download and provide to employers and state agencies to show competency. 


The course was published to an LMS and deployed to mobile devices.

By logging into their LMS, and launching the course on their smartphones, learners are immediately immersed in the field. Having this mobile format made it convenient for the workers to access the training on-site, anytime, or anywhere without needing a headset.

Key Features:

  • Immersive Learning without a Required Headset:  Immersive learning engages more senses than traditional eLearning, especially when wearing a headset.  However, the mobile format is still engaging and more convenient than a headset or hardware. 
  • Improved Spatial Awareness: In a virtual 360-image environment that is nearly identical to an excavation site, learners can physically move around the scenes using their fingers to spot interactive elements, like picking up a spray can when delineating an excavation site. Having excavators use their fingers to navigate 360° images helps them develop spatial awareness of the construction site and build muscle memory.


Once the VR training was built in CenarioVR and deployed, completion rates rose to over 70% and participation increased to over 1,500 active users. The deployment of this course resulted in increased worker safety, a reduction of damage, and the adoption of the VR learning format in the excavation community. 

Higher ROI and Other Measurable Benefits

  • Learners scored an average of 90.7%, and 100% of them passed. 
  • $289.48k training costs saved (travel no longer needed)
  • 2,496 fewer commuting hours
  • 1,075 better-skilled employees

Non-Monetary Benefits

By increasing user participation, the course increased awareness of safety protocols during excavation, and environmental damage was reduced.  Between 1,500+ active users and 1,200+ course completions, the completion rate rose by over 10%. 

Feedback Rating 

  • 84% found the course highly beneficial for safe digging in California.
  • 77% would enthusiastically recommend the “Professional Contractor Course by 811 Pro” to others.

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