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Imagine being seated in the operator’s cab of a heavy-equipment lift as it prepares to move a 20-ton piece of gear into place. Now imagine that it’s your first time doing this. But not to worry – you’ve read all about how to lift and move things, and have even watched a video or two. What could possibly go wrong?
If the idea of performing such a dangerous and difficult operation without the benefit of experience makes your palms sweat, you’re not alone. There are thousands of hazardous jobs out there, where the only thing between success and disaster is good training. It’s this type of complex and risky procedure that training simulations were made for.
Training simulations are computer-based scenarios that use highly-detailed 3D modeling and imagery to simulate an environment or condition virtually. These virtual reality scenarios are then used to practice a skill, perform a maneuver or execute a series of tasks in a safe and risk-free environment. In this way, potentially dangerous job functions can be honed, and expertise built, before a worker is ever seated in the actual cab of that equipment lift.
A typical training simulation uses high-resolution graphics, and detailed representations of the objects and conditions that can be expected in real life. Through the use of these realistic and life-like images, we can create an environment that is as near the real thing as it’s possible to get. Now a trainee can practice the specific skills necessary to do a job over and over again until it is perfected. We can also introduce different situations and variables to simulate adverse conditions – a great way to prepare for the unexpected.
When an organization is considering the development of training for a particular job or task, there are a lot of options available. Often the choices come down to instructor-led or classroom-based training, on-the-job training, observational training, or even video-based training. Where training simulations fit into this picture is that they are a complement to any of these other choices.
There simply is no substitute for a detailed and realistic simulation, short of practicing the skills in real life. And while there may still be the need for knowledge transfer from an experienced veteran, the use of training simulations can provide much needed context for trainees in understanding the full picture.
One of the greatest benefits that training simulations offer is a fairly obvious one – the reduced risk that comes from performing a task virtually. It’s this no-risk environment that gives learners the freedom to fail in a task, and to learn from that failure. And let’s face it; failure can be a great motivator. Since most of us are wired to succeed, a temporary setback is simply an obstacle to overcome the next time.
When we think about the benefits of practicing a skill, having the ability to learn from our mistakes is one of the greatest knowledge builders there is. Through experiencing what doesn’t work, we are more likely to learn the correct way to perform a task, and to better retain that knowledge.
Finally, we’d like to leave you with a few examples of when a training simulation could be beneficial. A lot of possibilities come to mind, but here are some that seem like obvious choices to us.
Really, the list could go on. In any situation where life or property is at risk, simulations can provide a responder or operator with the necessary training to perform the task safely.
Here at Designing Digitally, Inc., our team of expert developers can create a training simulation to meet the needs of just about any organization or performance task. We’ll work with you to design the exact training scenario that your workforce needs to ensure they’re proficient. From 3D modeling to custom animations to virtual reality worlds, we’re on the cutting edge of all the latest design techniques and training principles. Let us know what we can build for you.