Here are 5 Tips On 3D eLearning and Training sent to me to share with my readers from the 3D virtual world vendor VenueGen. I think they make sense, let me know what you think.
1. Provide a Road Map
Just as in real life, it is important that your attendees are provided with specific details on the location of the event and how to get there. It’s important to provide attendees with basic steps on how to login to your meeting and how to move around in the world they are using.
The first problem that new users in 3D environments tend to face is navigation. How do I get my avatar where I need to be or sit down at that table? Non-gamers have a hard time walking around using arrow keys and tend to collide with things. Having attendees appear already in their seats can minimize many issues. Likewise, flying, teleporting and using portals within a virtual world is also very cool but not the kind of things people want to figure out when late for a meeting or class.
2. Make it Real
Realism is an important part of fidelity that addresses how life-like the 3D experience appears. For example, do avatars move in a natural and convincing way? Do they make eye contact when they look at each other? Do their lips move appropriately while speaking? The key to an immersive movie viewing experience is the suspension of disbelief. We have all watched low budget movies with poor and unconvincing graphics and sets. No matter how great the dialogue or story line, you probably struggled to “get into” the movie. The attendee’s mind should have minimal obstacles in accepting the virtual venue and other attendees as reasonable likenesses of what is being simulated.
If others appear as flat cartoons incapable of neck movement or the ability to walk without “ice skating”, then the business professional or student is constantly being reminded that the envoirnment is not real. Realism is important because it helps the virtual world to “get out of the way” so that attendees can focus on the goals of the gathering.
3. Don’t Forget the Props
As any good teacher knows, the more visuals you have the better. The best 3D worlds are those that allow users to mouse click directly on the object, person or content with which they want to interact with and provide the ability to clearly read content from anywhere in a virtual environment. The best interface for viewing content involves two capabilities: first, users should be able to zoom their focus in on content without actually having to move their avatar closer to it. A second important capability for viewing very small content is an in-venue floating window. This technique forces the selected content to enlarge and float in reading position within the 3D environment.
4. Offer an Alternative For Sound
Many users do not have a headset or are behind firewalls that do not allow them to connect to the Voice Over IP channel required for most virtual worlds. The best dial-in solution is one that turns the attendee’s telephone receiver into a VoIP headset, for all practical purposes, and usually is offered as part of a virtual world training package.
5. Out-of-World Experience
Make sure your materials are working correctly not only within the virtual world, but outside of it as well. Browsing the Internet and viewing web-base applications is a requirement for most 3D virtual training and meeting platforms. Platforms that have taken the time to integrate the operating system’s native browser into their 3D engine will have much better compatibility and provide a more consistent viewing experience for virtual attendees.
Thanks again to VenueGen for the tips.