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Monday, March 16, 2009

More Advantages of 3D Learning Worlds

Here are some more advantages of 3D worlds for learning:

The first is that these worlds allow the learner to explore places he or she could not visit in the physical world. Traveling around a giant drill would not be possible or would be prohibitively expensive in a physical space. With virtual worlds, learners can explore outer space, stand on a beach during a tsunami, walk through the veins of a heart patient or witness a building explode and spring into action. Virtual worlds make the inaccessible assessable.

The second advantage of learning in 3D, and an almost opposite benefit, is 3D virtual worlds allow learners to be immersed in a learning environment as close to the actual performance environment as the learner can get without actually being there. These worlds can be highly realistic as the building of the product displays for the Model Z drill. Three-dimensional learning environments are more realistic than page turning e-learning and even more realistic than a classroom environment which is typically nothing like the actual environment in which a desired behavior must occur.

The third advantage is when immersed in a 3D environment, a person is cognitively encoding the sounds, sights and spatial relationships of the environment and is behaviorally engaged. The person becomes emotionally involved and behaves and acts as they would in the actual situation. When this happens, it allows the learner to more effectively encode the learning for future recall and provides the cues needed to apply the experience from the 3D world to actual on-the-job performance. It is learning by doing.

Fourth is that virtual worlds provide the opportunities for learners to be online in the same place at the same time looking and interacting with one another. This is far different then simply being logged into the same screen looking at the same slide. The 3D world provides a sense of “being there” which, again, ties to visual and mental cues which makes the recall and application of the learning that occurs in a 3D world more effective.

A visual version of the advantages:


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