March, 2011

What is a Training Simulation?

Many businesses, companies, organizations and government agencies have already tapped into the training potential offered by serious games and training simulations. In its most basic definition, a 3D training simulation is a highly specialized, custom designed and developed interactive 3D software program that allows individuals to learn and practice real world activities in a safe, highly realistic and secure online environment. It is very accurate and lifelike in presentation, allowing learners to clearly see the relevance of the training practice, while still avoiding many of the irrelevant details that are found in many types of training programs. Since the learning in the serious game highlights the objectives developed by the training coordinator and designer, the learner knows exactly what is important and can focus in on those specifics through the practice session.

The benefits to using training simulations, also known as serious games or digital game-based learning, over traditional types of training programs provides both time and cost savings. The training simulations can be customized to meet any type of professional experience without the hassle of transporting materials, trainers or participants to a central location. Instead, each learner can easily and securely log on to the 3D game from their own computer, virtually eliminating the biggest expense in any type of traditional training program. In addition, the serious games can be shorter than real world training sessions and can be started as needed based on training time available.

Each learner will be presented with a specific simulation or serious game that requires them to choose how to interact with the game in real time. As each simulation has been designed based on the requirements that you provide, learners will quickly catch on to the best option and choice. With practice these choices become part of the behavioral response of the learner when faced with the same choices in any real world setting. Tracking through administrative programs allows those responsible for training within any organization to monitor and measure improvement in the learner’s responses in training simulations.

Training simulations can be set up to be two or three dimensional in their appearance. Both are highly effective in engaging learners in a game like situation while still reinforcing what they can expect to deal with in their jobs. Since everything is online, mistakes can be corrected and the simulation repeated as often as necessary to ensure learner mastery of the concepts presented. There is no embarrassment factor, no negative consequences for mistakes as in real world learning on the job, and learners can progress at their own individual speed based on successful completion of specific levels or simulations. These online training simulations are so effective that new skills can be taught and prior skills enhanced with just short practice times online.

Training simulations are used in a variety of workplace settings from healthcare facilities to flight simulators and even in business leadership training programs. They are ideal anywhere and in any type of business or organization where people have to make decisions, follow procedures or learn a new trade or skill to be effective in the job that they do.

Firefighter Training: The REVAS Process

Firefighter Training: The REVAS Process

This project was created as a simulation role playing game that walked the new firefighter through the REVAS (Rescue, Exposure, Ventilation, Attack, and Salvage) process which he or she is taught during their training. The training consist of a real-life scenario in which the house is burning and the firefighters must choose the necessary steps to put out the fire without endangering themselves or the other five firefighters involved. The simulation includes a first person point of view including the ability to communicate with artificial intelligence within the gaming engine. The development of the simulation is used in conjunction with traditional classroom training methods. The simulation provides the firefighters with a safe and effective way to learn about each step in the process by putting them in a real-life scenario virtually. Not only was the simulation complex, but also offered variable scenarios such as current temperature, time of day, and even location of the burning home. The learner must interact with the artificial intelligence bots which include the other firefighters and victims in the house to determine the next step in the process based on variables that are presented to them. The simulation was deployed a learning management system so that the facilitator of the course could track the user’s progress throughout the 3D scenario.