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.

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