We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our loyal blog readers and clients a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year!
We’re pretty excited! This post has been a long time coming… We are officially announcing a new capability of which we are very proud: ‘Hybrid Simulations’…where we lovingly bake in the best elements of Decision-Based Sims with the cost-effectiveness and flexibility of Virtual Worlds. Decision-Based Simulations are great except when it comes to expanding the world or making rapid changes in a cost-effective manner. Virtual worlds make it easy to expand or update but often fall short when it comes to perceptions that trainees won’t stay on task. We’ve learned through experience that many clients are looking for something beyond the perennially popular decision-based simulation, but aren’t quite sold on virtual worlds, mostly because of the negative perceptions associated with SL-based worlds. Working with select clients over the past 18 months, we have created a successful new approach and began delivering Hybrid Sims earlier this year – marrying the best of both worlds.
These interactive, decision-based virtual environment simulations perform exceptionally well and are produced quicker (in a few months) and at lower cost. We think we like to call it “3D vWorld-DB simulation software” – though our CEO still calls them Hybrid Sims. So, maybe, just maybe, we’ll stick with Hybrid Sims. These 3D animated simulations are custom built and the scenarios play out in a private virtual world. So what other advantages do these custom-built simulations present you may ask? Increased immersion, interactivity, layered decision-making, and feedback to the user (just to name a few). And perhaps the biggest advantage of all, is that this hybrid vWorld-DB simulation, er, I mean Hybrid Sim, is able to run in a browser!
Hybrid simulations also bring their own ‘tool kit’ if you will, which includes the following:
• Idea Generating Tools designed to break current, routine thinking patterns and encourage thinking beyond the status quo through the use of provocation and challenge;
• Focus Tools designed to broaden where, and from whom, students search for new ideas;
• Treatment Tools that are designed to consider real-world constraints, available resources, and other means of support; and
• Harvest Tools that are designed to maximize value received from idea generating output.
Visual Purple isn’t the typical virtual world builder where the ‘average’ virtual world will offer a free roaming character that the trainee can navigate around, our virtual worlds have walls (visible and invisible) and threaded missions to accomplish rather than just the free roaming nature that so many businesses worry about turning an employee loose in, just to “wander” around aimlessly. So there you have it folks, our latest and greatest way of presenting our clients with cutting edge simulation technologies. Stay tuned for more in-depth reviews of the new Hybrid Simulations.
It seems as though the once wildly popular, Computer-Based Training (or CBT for short) just isn’t ringing in any headlines these days. You just aren’t hearing about company trainees using a CBT (and no I am not referring to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and falling in love with it, or asleep for that matter. For goodness sakes, even the Army is abandoning the some flavors of CBT! Training, assessment and design are all key features to a CBT course, however these also are all key elements to more innovative types of training (such as virtual worlds). Advantages of the CBT system were really based around the learner being able to learn at his/ her own pace, this means it’s not too remedial for seasoned employees and is also able to cater to a slower pace for the newbie’s within an organization. Mainly popular in the 1980’s and 90’s – however the full breadth of CBT was not there as computers (and later the Internet) where just beginning to pick up steam. Although Computer-Based Training is being utilized it has transformed into eLearning (boring!) or virtual world training (bring it on!). Yeah sure, CBT can now offer streaming audio and video and even be web-based, but so can a host of other more efficient and cost-effective training methods. Rest in peace CBT.
We are excited to announce the beta launch of our first ever 3D browser-based virtual world, Winning in Wireless: Year 1. Initially launched in April of this year as a downloadable application, Winning in Wireless: Year 1 is a pilot program that BTS and Visual Purple embarked on by taking an existing BTS Computer-based training (CBT) simulation and transferring the content into a realistic virtual world environment complete with Non-Player Characters (NPCs). This entirely 3D based virtual world application allows for automatic updating. Advanced features that are offered include a custom plug-in for behind the firewall, ability to work off of an LMS, playability on private networks and a standalone mode.
In following the trend of virtual worlds moving into the web browser this is just one more distinct advantage that Visual Purple can offer its clients by allowing its customized and low cost virtual world simulations to be viewable in any browser. This is a big step in offering companies full deployment behind their firewall or through a firewall plus the ability to run a typical PC. This complete 3D browser based virtual world solution allows for anytime, anywhere play.
Winning in Wireless: Year 1, provides an interesting environment and experience for the single-player (can be designed in a multiplayer format) and, at the same time, will show how a single-player can be taught key skills and develop empathy for the roles and skills of others within an organization. Successfully navigating Winning in Wireless: Year 1, the player learns critical insight and knowledge about the role of the CEO and why a strong CEO is valuable and important; it will provide a refresher on developing forecasts and plans, decision making using an “iTool”, and alignment of the company’s vision, values and mission. Three months after its initial beta launch to the public with a downloadable version of Winning in Wireless: Year 1 is now an entirely browser-based 3D virtual world that runs directly from the browser.
By Ed Heinbockel, President and CEO, Visual Purple, LLC
Are you focusing on learner engagement and learning experience take-aways within current solutions? E-Learning can result in a hard pressed “push” of the learner’s results.
Let’s further examine a comparison of push vs. pull training… Within a virtual world environment the learner is able to “pull” content as they see fit with various types of overlays on top of the technologies driving the simulation. Logics are embedded to reveal specific information when needed. Virtual world training environments allow the general ability to watch what people are and are not doing while still honoring the different process styles associated with learning. Whereas within an e-Learning “push” environment the learner is pushed directly through the experiences, without the ability to alter the outcome and make decisions on their own.
Visual Purple and BTS transformed a traditional “push” e-Simulation into a “pull” virtual world environment. By leveraging existing training investments one can generate a higher learner/trainee retention rate, apply to wider range of audience and reap benefits from the significant cost savings. A virtual world approach will result in reduced training time, and improvement of overall learning effectiveness for the learner. By utilizing persistent world applications to guide the learner to succeed through decision-based scenarios enabling active participation, virtual world applications allow for engaging and realistic 3D training environments that are directly applicable to business needs. The key is to unlock potential from an existing “push” e-Learning solution and evolve it into a realistic and sticky “pull” virtual world training medium. Many top organizations are transitioning to virtual world based training solutions. Beginning from square one or utilizing an existing e-learning or CBT solution and transferring it into a successful virtual world training application. Virtual worlds offer the learner the foremost in freedom, interactivity and adaptability where specially tailored environments ensure realistic interaction and imagery to promote full emotional and intellectual engagement in any scenario.
View the trailer of the transformation from a “push” learning module to an immersive “pull” learning environment.
Visual Purple, LLC. is proud to have been recognized with a Bronze Telly Award in the online training category. The Power of Story: Driven is a short tale about what a level 5 decision-based training simulation can offer. The prestigious international Telly Award honors the best in video, advertising and film production. Its recipients have demonstrated creative excellence and superior work in the industry.
“- Link to”
YouTube Visual Purple Power of Story: Driven
About Telly Awards
Founded in 1978, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online film and video. The Telly Awards annually showcases the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, interactive agencies, and corporate video departments in the world. The Telly Awards receives over 13,000 entries annually from all 50 states and countries around the world.
So, we posted a while back on our new Virtual World (Winning in Wireless: Year 1). I thought it was worth mentioning again as we put alot of blood, sweat and tears into the making of it.
What is Winning in Wireless: Year 1 you may ask?…Visual Purple partnered with BTS and took an existing Computer-Based Training (CBT) course and transmogrified it into a virtual world simulation. Not the whole enchilada but more than anticipated. Pretty cool, huh? The Visual Purple technologists have been working technology and creative approaches for months and months separating the wheat from the chaff until things really started to click. The virtual world sim depicts an eager, newly hired CEO of a wireless telecom company trying to find his way, complete with computer-generated voice for some of the non-player characters (NPC’s). No strings attached: no forms to fill out or marketing hurdles. Just click the download button and go.
Winning in Wireless: Year 1 does require a download, a browser-based experience is a cool option for deployment in the Enterprise space.
We have also compiled a short trailer showing the comparison of CBT to the virtual world transformation.