February, 2012

February, 2012

Learning By Doing: Human Resource Training with 3D Training Simulations

Training staff on ethical practices and policies, interviewing prospective employees, improving office culture and in the impact of manager’s attitudes on employee performance is a very difficult task. Often lecture or trainer based types of training in these areas come across as sounding dry, judgmental and very abstract with little ability for learners to translate the information into real world applications.

On the other hand online training can provide some amazing learning opportunities for human resource staff, managers and other leaders in your business, agency or industry. The type of training that just dovetails so perfectly with the very complex issues listed above is the use of  3D training simulations. Just think for a moment on how powerful it would be for your human resource staff and management teams to be able to play through a set of different actual scenarios based on the specifics in your industry. The training would immediately become highly applicable, highly engaging and highly beneficial while also providing a learning platform that is familiar, fun and very focused.

Ethical Dilemmas

Human resource staff often finds themselves in the middle of ethical issues that employees are struggling to handle. Trying different options to resolve the issues or how to follow protocol given the various issues brought forward is not something that human resource staff should do on the fly. Instead, using a set of scenarios based on your specific company or agency staff, industry or area of practice your human resource staff can watch scenarios play out in a 3D simulation, evaluating the outcome or choosing the correct response. This same training can be expanded to allow employees to learn about ethical issues and how to correctly respond when faced with them in the workplace.

Interviewing

Interviewing is more than asking a set of questions, it is truly a learned skill. Allowing human resource professionals and managers that are involved in hiring for your company, organization or agency to practice in 3D simulations will ensure a much more competent and effective interview style. In addition the interviewers will build confidence in their ability to handle a range of different situations. Interviewing skills can be highlighted through choices that can be made all through the 3D simulation, something that we are very familiar with developing at Designing Digitally, Inc.

Changing Workplace Culture

The culture of a workplace is not static, it can be changed and molded to become more friendly and encompassing as changes in the workforce, management and business partners evolve. Allowing everyone to work through a variety of realistic and highly applicable 3D simulations provides immediate feedback as to what works, what doesn’t and what needs to be changed in the workplace to make it more positive for everyone. Often people are unaware of the consequences of their choices and this provides as safe, private and very natural way to learn about the impact of actions on others.

Management Impact

Telling a manager that they are creating hostility in the workplace is often very difficult. Letting the manager experience how their treatment of employees impacts on the employees productivity, commitment to the company and even their attitude towards the manager and the job may be the picture that says a million words. 3D training simulations are non-threatening for managers to work through to see how their attitudes, behaviors and choices may be negatively or positively impacting on those under their supervision.

Does Age Matter When Building Serious Games?

Throughout history, learning has taken different forms within different generations. Children today are growing up in schools where computers, 3D interactive classrooms, laboratories and simulations of various concepts are commonplace. This is certainly much different than the classroom environments of just a few years ago. However, despite all these changes, people continue to learn in the same way. Learning by doing is still the most universal form of learning and one that is highlighted in any type of online training scenario and serious game.

Learning by doing doesn’t necessarily mean having to actually do the activity, procedure or process in the real world. Simulations and 3D interactive games allow individuals to do an activity virtually rather than in the real world. This takes away all the pressure and stress, cuts down on costs and allows “do overs” at the click of a mouse. No matter what age of learner targeted, this process enhances the learning experience and makes the whole training much more relevant and natural.

3D serious games allow you to practice and repeat as often as necessary from the privacy of the computer. Fully immersed in the game you will experience the activity, decision, process or training as if you were really there. Just as you learn from your positive choices you will also experience learning if you make an incorrect choice. The games can be set up to provide text, audio and visual clues and prompts in the event of an incorrect decision. In addition, the decision or choice that you may will also play out, allowing you to learn what works and what doesn’t work in a very natural and non-threatening way.

Older adults in the workplace and the community are also attracted to learning and playing online serious games. While they may not have the comfort with computers and gaming technology that younger generations do, the simple interface and game format is very easy to comprehend and master. With minimal text and larger graphics, reading and traditional pen and paper exercises aren’t such a strain. Older learners, just like kids, will quickly appreciate being able to practice a new skill or technique in a virtual environment before having to try it out in the field in a real world setting.

Younger online serious game and real time 3D learners may be more likely to demand even higher levels of interaction, mobility and technology in their learning experience. They may want the ability to play online through their smartphones, game consoles and other devices that connect to the Internet. Ensuring that these learners have access to serious games on a variety of technologies is definitely a factor of age, but one that serious game developers are well aware of.

In summary, those that are designing interactive 3D software do have to keep their target audience in mind; however age is less of a factor than may originally be considered. Everyone learns by doing and practicing and virtual reality types of experiences are equally valuable for older learners as well as those that are just entering into the workforce.