In the previous blog in this series we looked at training explanations. In this blog we will show how to give your student the opportunity to practice the activity.
As the student acts out the required activities you need to consider the how they will use the play-space they are in. Aim to provide natural feeling interactions with clear feedback on the accuracy of the execution. If the motion looks and feels natural, it will require less tuition and, with repetition, will help build the “muscle memory” that aids the longer term retention of the lesson. The physical motion in the real world can be separated from the virtual representation if that makes the interaction clearer. Unless you are using interactive props or gloves there will be limited opportunities for touch feedback. For example you can grab a door knob and turn it in VR. The controller will be a substitute for the grip of the door knob but it won’t be constrained to the axis of the virtual handle.
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 about spatial awareness and dexterity, both mental and physical. Students practicing the activity are given increasingly difficult challenges as they practice speed packing the containers. In projects like this, making the exercise fun to do, even adding elements of gameplay like scores and deadlines can be used to encourage increased engagement. During development it was interesting that our subject matter experts demonstrated a clear performance advantage over the developers despite being unfamiliar with VR. The transfer of skills from real to virtual world and back was obvious from the start.
It’s important to use satisfying and rewarding responses in the virtual world to reinforce the lessons learned. When the activity is completed successfully there should be clear indications that the student has been successful.
In the final blog of this series, we will look at what happens at the end of a training session.
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