It was a great venue to see 3D virtual immersive environments in action. We started the tour in the Digitell World Convention Lobby Environment.
In this area the students got a quick tutorial on the navigational elements of the virtual world. Next we visited an environment created for The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA ). The environment presented a conference center with booths set up for the convention just as the physical space.
The location was an exact reproduction of their annual meeting at McCormick Place in Chicago. Jim told us that Digitell Live Streamed 10 sessions into the auditorium and had around 500 radiologists attend in the 3D platform. Students in class explored the environment and checked out how it was set up. The class was then able to explore a show room and see how vendors could set up virtual exhibits. There were plenty of interactive displays and areas to explore each with a unique, interactive element.
Next we visited the Practice Greenhealth Operating Room. This environment was designed to educate healthcare professionals on what is being developed by companies to make the operating room “green” and more sustainable.
Many of the items environment where clickable. Jim Parker indicated that this particular environment has been widely successful.
The next location we visited was the American Nursing Credentialling Center. This environment showcased research that is being done in nursing through the development of a Virtual Poster Presentation Hall. Each presenter submitted their presentations and they are posted for nurses to asynchronously engage with the education in an immersive space. The first year, the event included 30 posters and the last two years they have had 60 posters. Once a quarter the center holds a “meet the researcher” virtual social and the nurses can come back and engage with each of the researchers in their own private VoIP area, which is the area just in front of their poster. The event and space is a great example of how organizations can create a collaborative space for researchers to gather and share what they are doing in a visual and engaging manner. The avatars can walk from location to location to see the research concepts and ideas.
Next we visited an exact replica of a food service area that was developed to train the employees prior to their arrival at the job at the Chautauqua Institution. The Chautauqua Institution is a summer cultural center that services thousands of people in a short 9 week season. To bring together so many people for such a short period of time requires some pre-training of workers who arrive from all over the world. The virtual 3D space was created to provide a familiarization of the environment, equipment and space to employees prior to their arrival. It didn’t replace training but augmented what they received on site and greatly reduced employee learning curves. The area of training was focused in the Brick Walk Cafe food court.
The final stop on our extensive tour was an environment that was created several years ago to engage students in history using 3D immersive technology. Digitell, Inc. developed this environment to engage the 4th graders and to allow them to explore the environment of the Iroquois Indian Tribes in their classroom. The teacher displayed the environment on a large Smart Board. Students came to the Smart Board and customized their avatars and moved through the environment. Jim indicated that the teacher told them it was one of his most successful learning modules he had ever used. Once students explored the environment, there is a short quiz they can take based on answers in the environment. Students could build a long house, watch horses and were dressed authentically as a tribe member.
All in all, the tour was fantastic and it highlighted real applications for 3D virtual immersive environments. Thanks to the group of Digitell, Inc. Great stuff!
So, three questions for students who toured the environment.
1) How do you think the use of 3D enhanced the instruction that took place in the various environments?
2) As an instructional designer what are some considerations you must think about when designing a 3D virtual immersive learning environment?
3) Based on the environments you encountered and the training and collaboration you participated in, what are the implications for using a 3D virtual immersive environment for collaboration and training in a corporate or academic setting? (feel free to cite examples from the tour)