In the previous blog in our VR Training Principles series we looked how to explain the process being taught. 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 how they will use the space. 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. With repetition, this will help build the “muscle memory” that aids the longer term retention of the lesson.
You can separate the physical motion in the real world 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, when you grab a door knob and turn it in VR, the controller will provide the feeling of grip. However, it won’t be constrained to the axis of the virtual handle.
In this example, the activity uses spatial awareness and both mental and physical dexterity. We presented students with increasingly difficult challenges as they practice speed packing the containers. In projects like this, we encourage increased engagement by making the exercise fun to do. We even add elements of gameplay like scores and deadlines.
It’s important to use satisfying and rewarding responses in the virtual world to reinforce the lessons learned. When the activity is completed correctly, its important to ensure there are clear indications that the student has been successful.
We found 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.
In the previous post in our VR Training Principles 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.
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