Long Live 3D Learning
Within the last two weeks, Ive had 3 interesting experiences related to immersive learning simulations. While Second Life was all the rage about 2 years ago, its rare to hear people talking about it much these days. However, three people have convinced me that simulations and immersive learning experiences continue to gain traction as increasingly more valuable and more effective methods for driving performance improvement.
First, I met Jessica Trybus, Founder & CEO of Etcetera Edutainment. Jessica studied under Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon University professor who died from cancer and famously recorded his Last Lecture. I had not known that Randys focus as a computer science professor was on human-computer interaction.
One feature of Randys work at CMU was synthetic interview technology that allows people to interact with video. One example Im familiar with is a 3D video replica of Abraham Lincoln at the Civil War museum in Harrisburg, PA. Visitors can really feel as though theyre talking with Honest Abe himself as the technology is programmed to answer more than 200 questions.
When Jessica met Randy after having worked at Disneys Pixar, she was amazed by CMUs new technologies and enrolled in a Masters Degree program there. Upon graduation, she founded Etcetera Edutainment to build immersive learning programs. She demonstrated her safety training programs for me to show how learners become aware of the dangers, including death, from missing a step in a procedure or forgetting to check equipment carefully.
The part that was most interesting was how the technology could track, in great detail, a persons skill mastery. She described how the path through the learning experience prevents people from developing bad performance habits that sometimes creep in when they are being trained by peers or even facilitators whose comfort levels tempt them to skip steps.
Next, CorpU hosted a webinar on 3D Learning with Tony ODriscoll, Professor of Practice at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Karl Kapp, a writer and expert on the future of technology and learning. Featuring highlights from their new book, Learning In 3D: Adding a New Dimension To Enterprise Learning, Tony and Karl shared stories about how:
Ernst & Young accelerated development for newly hired MBA graduates to conduct inventory audits
Fire/police teams up and down the east coast practiced coordinating their responses to accidents on Interstate 95 to reduce the rate of additional accidents that occur when the first accident is not managed quickly
A leading oil company adapted a learning event to follow a problem-based format, and that also enabled spontaneous networking and cost $5M less than the original learning solution
Microsoft/Sodexo raised executives awareness of the firms diversity practices, and how to communicate effectively about diversity while avoiding more than $1M in travel and lodging costs associated with previous programs
These stories and more like them showed the tremendous value in giving people a safe environment to learn, practice, and collaborate. They also described low-cost options to create compelling immersive learning environments.
And finally, Mike Cuffe, Vice President, University of Farmers, Claims recently talked about how simulated learning environments will transform learning at Farmers Insurance. Mike will describe his new learning strategy in his keynote speech Talk About a Revolution Learning, Technology and People at the Learning and Entertainment Evolution Forum (LEEF) at Harrisburg University in Harrisburg, PA on June 17 and 18. Mike said the mix of training at Farmers will dramatically shift to about 70% of programs being delivered through immersive and virtual learning experiences over the next 3 years. Using these technologies, well be able to do much more than weve ever done. Our productivity will increase and well be able to do 10, 20 or even 30 times the amount of education using new technology, he said during an audio interview to promote the event. And its easier to build a return on investment than it has ever been before.
Mike noted that the Farmers learning team can monitor and track performance improvement better than in other learning modalities, and knows that these new programs are really impacting business performance.
Improved performance. Stronger ROI. More and better education. Yes 3D Learning – it’s looking like you have a bright future ahead.