Theorical and Procedural Training

Virtual reality is used in many training scenarios as it confers a wide range of benefits for academia and industry alike.

The education 3.0 revolution (an umbrella term used by educational theorists to describe a variety of ways to integrate technology into learning)  will have a significant component which is based on our ability to create compelling 3D content. The use of 3D content in learning reduces our need to apply abstract thinking to convert information presented in 2D into a 3D mind space. Our brains work more naturally in a 3d environment which allows us to take in much more information.

Theorical Training

Depending on the type of job, technical procedural training will be required. Technical training is a type of training meant to teach the new employee the technological aspects of the job. For an electric motor repair technician, this might be understanding the theory of what the internal components of a motor are. Below are some examples how the “what” can be explained in VR or AR, with users able to grab the rotor of the motor and inspect it from all angles.

An exemple of an exploded view of a motor which teaches a technician what a motor is made of.

A deconstructed engine on operation, showing each of the four strokes which operate a traditional engine.

Technical training can also be used in schools to explore and teach kids about everyday items. An example is shown below of how a toaster can be ‘deconstructed’ is shown below in AR on a device such as an iPad or Android tablet. As shown above, the educational/training content doesn’t need to be static, it can include simulated operations such as moving, rotating and disassembling. It can also include operations of internal parts. VR is also the perfect mechanism for learning about the scale of the solar system.

With a simple marker on the side of a toaster, augmented reality can be used to take to top off this toaster to explain its operation to young children in a school.

Learning about the solar system, and the respective scale of each of its planets.

Procedural Training

Virtual Reality is great for is learning procedures. Doing scenarios in VR allows users to do things that they wouldn’t normally do. Whether they are engineering casualty drills, or walking through a smoke filled hallway and deciding what to do next. In these VR scenario’s users can be allowed to choose the wrong option and then learn from their mistakes. 

Users who have experienced training in VR have engaged all of their learning methods – ie. Auditory, Visual and Kinesthetic. 

A fire safety scenario… What to do next?

Instruction on how to best replace a tap.

Another example of procedural training that would be more suitable for school students, is how to take a tap apart. This type of training can be done easily in VR and AR using a range of different devices as shown here.

When doing procedures in VR, particularly those that involve controller actions such as pulling levers, pushing buttons, closing valves etc and taking a particular path to get to where they needed to take action, students often report ‘muscle memory’ and the feeling of having completed the actual task previously. This feeling of having completed the task occurs even though they have never actually done it.

Scenarios can be interactive and assess the students without the students feeling threatened by an exam scenario, with data about what the students looked at and what actions they took recorded for later analysis. The image below shows the selection of tools before a working at heights scenario. The system can record events such as if the tools were secured, and if the selection of tools was appropriate for the job. The entire scene can also be played back with 2D and 3D heat maps showing what the user has done via static images or full motion playback.

Selecting the right tools prior conducting a ‘working at height’ scenario in VR.

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