VR Training Principles Part 2 – Explanation

In the previous post in this series we looked at the Demonstration of the activity.  In this post we look at how to deliver a clear explanation of the process being taught. This explanation could be delivered outside of the VR environment but in VR you have the students attention and the ability to support the explanation with clear visual prompts.

Drag and Zoom your viewpoint in this interactive demo

Just as it would in a classroom, a great script and clear verbal delivery will allow the student to process a lot of information quickly while still being free to view supporting visual information.  When using VO or CG character speech you need to ensure that the student has the opportunity to skip backwards or forwards in the explanation in case they misunderstand a section or are repeating the training.

While text can be used in VR, the current screen resolution limits requires the fonts to be large for readability. Care needs to be taken with the font rendering because the user controls the position of the camera and so the viewing distance to the text.  Poor font rendering will be easily exposed. Signed distance field rendering will help keep the text sharp even when viewed up close.  You should avoid using large areas of text that require the student to move their head to read as this could be physically tiring.

The example project, pictured in the interactive scene above, was built with Unity3D using the Immerse.io platform which provides multi user and real time chat services.  In this example the activity is more UI based than in the example in the previous post. In the real world the control panel controls are labelled and those labels must be readable in the VR simulation.

In the next blog in this series, we will look at perhaps the most important elements of VR training, the practice.

If you would like to learn more about how Tech Gorillas can help build training for your organisation contact us at sales@tech-gorillas.com

VR Training Principles Part 1 – Demonstration

In my earlier blog post I described how VR can provide some unique opportunities for the delivery of training.  This week we will start looking at ways to make a VR session more effective.

VR is a communication medium that allows you to deliver an experience that goes beyond the classroom.  It does not change the core psychological principles of good training so you should design your VR training as you would any other training session. In this discussion I will focus on the foundation activities.  Demonstration, Explanation, Practice, and Review. VR allows you to engage multiple senses including vision (spatial), hearing (auditory-musical), verbal (linguistic), and physical (kinaesthetic).

The example project pictured in the interactive scene above was built with Unity3D using the Immerse.io platform which provides multi user and real time chat services.

Demonstrating each component of the activity allows the pupil to visualise what is expected of them.  Individual components of the activity can be shown in a variety of ways ranging from video guides or a guide character in the simulation through to sequenced prompts which step through the activity.

Try to create an environment that supports your message without being distracting.  The environment gives context to the training. For example, if you are preparing someone for an activity in an office environment then set your training in an office but minimise the level of detail on peripheral furnishings to avoid unnecessary cost and distraction.

In the example project shown above, we built a training module for the operation of a submerged signal ejector (SSE). This is the machine used for the deployment of emergency beacons from a submarine. The exercise is complex and mechanical and must be meticulously executed. For the training scenario, interactive elements were focused on the SSE. Detail is reduced in the rest of the scene but clearly represents the environment. Each step of the interaction is supported with visual guides which show the correct alignment of the mechanical elements.

In our next blog in this series we will look at the best ways to explain an activity.

If you would like to learn more about how Tech Gorillas can help build training for your organisation contact us at sales@tech-gorillas.com

How could VR training help my business?

Organisations are increasingly looking to Virtual or Augmented Reality to enhance their training programmes and in this series of blogs we will be looking at how to make the most of this new opportunity.  We start with a look at why VR can be more effective and more cost efficient for your training needs.

VR Training uses a headset and a computer generated world to allow candidates to experience a situation created to allow them to learn effectively. The candidates will see, hear and even feel (to a limited extent) a scenario and the expert guidance needed to navigate and learn in an optimal way.

VR differs from traditional training in a number of ways.  When delivered well, a VR training scenario will trigger significantly higher levels of engagement and thus information retention than traditional classroom or e-learning methods.  Candidates will feel they are experiencing the situation they are learning about and experience an emotional response to the training that traditional methods are unable to replicate.  This emotional amplification allows candidates to prepare for the way their body reacts to a situation as well as the practical activities required to complete it. Imagine, for example, the feeling of facing a fire in a store cupboard, or being the first-aider called to an asthma attack.

Early adopters were looking for ways to reduce the physical risks to candidates.  Candidates could experience scenarios like a nuclear accident or a deep sea emergency without anyone being put at risk.

The ability to recreate an environment and situation virtually also means that scarce equipment can be accessed by teams around the world without transporting teams for the training sessions.  Multi user training sessions allow people to talk to each other and interact as if they are in the same room even when they are in training facilities on different continents. Time on this equipment is also released from training use to production use.

Once a VR training scenario has been created it can typically be reset and rerun as many times as required without significant additional costs.  This could deliver significant cost savings either if a small number of trainees need to repeat a scenario that would be expensive to recreate in the real world or if you need a large number of candidates to experience a consistently high-quality training experience without the cost of a large training team.

Finally VR based training can be recorded and reviewed allowing candidates to reinforce their learning and organisations to track the progress of their teams training performance.

Over the next few weeks we will examine these factors in more detail with examples of how to make the most of this exciting new medium.

If you would like to learn more about how Tech Gorillas can help build training for your organisation contact us at sales@tech-gorillas.com