Last Updated on August 16, 2023
We have delivered digital twins, virtual models, and CGI simulations for use in industry training and inductions for over 20 years – using digital learning tools to support workplace compliance, communication, productivity, safety, and staff engagement. This article is the result of discussions with training leaders across industries from rail to construction, defence to utilities. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the benefits of eLearning for employee training and development, illustrating the advantages of eLearning over traditional learning in complex, high-risk work environments.
When you are reviewing the productivity of your organisation through a training needs assessment and a risk assessment, especially across OH & S and change management – we have found a series of compounding considerations that make the business case for the use of 3D simulated training an exceptional value proposition.
Of note is our view on VR (virtual reality) which differs from the standard technology business. We have found VR can have significant throughput and accessibility barriers, as well as fidelity and cost implications. The reuse of urban spatial data, BIM models and digital twins into simulation packages using Unreal Engine or Unity gamified desktop simulators, often packaged into easy-use high-fidelity interactive video material for large distribution and access, is having profound effects and benefits on culture, costs and commissioning in the urban, infrastructure and construction industries.
Industry training accreditation and re-accreditation
The use of simulation in eTraining, eLearning, and development has the potential to significantly improve outcomes for government and business organisations. By providing a realistic and immersive learning experience, interactive visual simulations can help to engage and motivate staff, leading to improved retention of information and increased productivity.
One way in which simulations can improve accreditation, re-accreditation and refresher training efficiency is by providing a flexible and convenient learning experience. By using platforms such as desktop, the cloud or mobile, organisations can provide access to course materials and assessments anytime, anywhere. This allows staff to complete coursework at their own pace, without the need to take time away from their daily responsibilities.
To further improve efficiency, organisations can use the simulations to create eLearning courses that are interactive and engaging, keeping staff motivated. This can help to improve retention of information and reduce the amount of time needed to complete coursework.
In addition to improving efficiency, the use of visual 3D simulations made into video material in eTraining, eLearning, and development can also help to reduce costs for organisations. By using virtual simulations instead of physical training facilities or complementing classroom training, organisations can save on the costs of building and maintaining these facilities. Accessible simulation-based training converted to easy-to-use eLearning video platforms or online portals can be used to train large numbers of staff at once, reducing the need for multiple training sessions and further reducing costs.
The use of simulation in accreditation, re-accreditation and refresher training can help to improve efficiency by providing a flexible, convenient, and engaging learning experience that allows the workforce to complete coursework at their own pace. This can help to minimise disruption to daily operations and reduce the costs of administration, leading to improved outcomes for the organisation.
Simulations and the quality of learning
One of the key ways in which simulations can be used to improve the quality of learning is by providing a realistic and immersive learning experience. From a standard desktop or mobile device, organisations can create a virtual environment that precisely simulates real-world scenarios, allowing staff to practice and develop their skills in a safe and controlled setting.
In addition to providing a realistic learning experience, simulation can also be used to create interactive and engaging course materials that keep staff motivated and engaged. This can be achieved through the use of gamification and interactive content, which can help to create a more enjoyable and enriching learning experience.
To further improve the quality of learning, organisations can use the simulated visualisation to assess the progress of individual learners and provide tailored feedback and guidance to help them improve. This can be achieved through the use of artificial intelligence, which can analyse a learner’s progress and provide personalised feedback and recommendations for improvement.
“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”— Henry Ford
Desktop eTraining simulators and productivity
The use of eLearning technologies such as simulation can have a significant impact on the productivity of staff within organisations. By providing a realistic and immersive learning experience, simulations and visualisations can help to engage and motivate staff, leading to improved retention of information and increased productivity.
Simulations can improve learning efficiency -by providing a flexible and convenient learning experience. By using online eLearning platforms such as desktop, the cloud, or mobile, organisations can provide access to course materials and assessments anytime, anywhere. This allows staff to complete coursework at their own pace, without the need to take time away from their daily responsibilities.
Simulations for risk in HRLF incidents
Low frequency and high risk (HRLF) events are those that occur rarely and have the potential for significant consequences if not handled properly. These types of events can pose a challenge for organisations, as it can be difficult to ensure that staff are competent in handling them.
One way in which organisations can address the risk of HRLF events is by providing training and development opportunities that focus on these types of incidents. By using e-learning and eTraining technologies such as simulation, organisations can create realistic and immersive visualisation of HRLF events, allowing staff to practice and develop their skills in a safe and controlled setting.
To further mitigate the risk of HRLF events, organisations can establish protocols and procedures for handling these types of incidents. This can include setting up emergency response teams and regularly reviewing and updating these protocols to ensure that they are effective and appropriate for the organisation.
“Where my reason, imagination, or interest were not engaged, I would not or could not learn.”— Sir Winston Churchill
The advantages of eLearning during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on training and development efforts for many organisations, with many staff experiencing a significant amount of downtime as a result of lockdowns and other measures. This can create challenges for organisations when it comes to catching up on training and ensuring that staff are competent and up-to-date with their skills and knowledge.
One way in which organisations can catch up on training following the COVID-19 downtime is by using learning technologies such as visual simulations to provide flexible and convenient learning opportunities. By using accessible cloud-based eLearning platforms, organisations can provide workforce staff with access to course materials and assessments anytime, anywhere. This can help to minimise disruption to daily operations and allow staff to catch up on training at their own pace.
There are several risks associated with having staff onsite without refresher accreditation, particularly from a compliance and incident perspective. For example, staff who are not up-to-date with their skills and knowledge may be more likely to make mistakes or errors, which can have significant consequences for the organisation. In addition, organisations that do not ensure that their staff are adequately trained and certified may be at higher risk of liability.
Workforce competition for staff
Managing learning and training for existing workforces in an environment where there is workforce competition can be a challenge for organisations. With low unemployment and a focus on work-life balance, organisations may struggle to find the time and resources to provide standard training and development opportunities for their staff. That’s where simulations for eTraining can help.
Organisations can improve learning and training in an employee-constrained environment by using eLearning technologies such as simulations to provide flexible and convenient learning opportunities. By using platforms easily accessible in staff downtime and between-time, organisations can provide staff with access to course materials and assessments anytime, anywhere. This can help to minimise disruption to daily operations and allow staff to complete training at their own pace.
Managing lower employee tenures
In an environment where employee tenures are shorter and staff are more likely to leave after a few years, it can be a challenge for organisations to optimise learning and development efforts. This is because there is less time to recoup the investment in training and development, and there is also a risk that valuable skills and knowledge will be lost when staff leave the organisation.
To optimise learning in a workforce with shorter employee tenures, organisations can focus on providing targeted and relevant eTraining and development opportunities that are aligned with the needs and goals of the organisation. By providing workforce staff and personnel with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their roles, organisations can increase the value they provide to the organisation and improve retention rates while supporting the change management process as change occurs.
“An organisation’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly is the ultimate competitive advantage.”— Jack Welch
Regulator compliance and operator licensing
Adequate training is essential for ensuring compliance with regulations and operator licensing requirements. Inadequate training in both quality and quantity can pose significant risks for organisations, particularly if they are audited or if an incident occurs.
One of the key risks associated with inadequate training is the risk of non-compliance with regulations and operator licensing requirements. This can lead to fines, legal action, and damage to the organisation’s reputation. In addition, inadequate training can also increase the risk of errors and incidents occurring, which can have significant consequences for the organisation and its stakeholders.
To mitigate these risks, organisations should ensure that they provide adequate training to their staff in both quality and quantity. This can be achieved through the use of eLearning technologies such as desktop simulations and simulators, which can provide realistic and immersive training experiences that help to engage and motivate staff.
The risks associated with inadequate training in both quality and quantity can be significant for organisations. To mitigate these risks, organisations should ensure that they provide adequate training to their staff and establish protocols and procedures for training and development.
Reducing the ‘capacity vs capability’ lag
One of the challenges that many organisations face is the lag between capacity and the capability of new hires. This can occur when an organisation hires new staff but it takes them a long time to reach full capability in their role, leading to reduced productivity and efficiency.
The use of eLearning technologies such as simulation can help to reduce this lag by providing new hires with the support and guidance they need to quickly become proficient in their roles. By using platforms accessible from a desktop or mobile device, organisations can provide new hires with access to interactive and engaging course materials that help them to learn and develop their skills.
In addition to providing new hires with access to learning materials, organisations can also use simulation and other learning technologies to assess the progress of individual learners and provide tailored feedback and guidance to help them improve easily when connected to the LMS or LMSS (Learning Management Systems). This can help to optimise the learning process and ensure that new hires are able to progress at a pace that is appropriate for them.
In terms of the return on investment (RoI) for the organisation, the use of simulation and other learning technologies can help to improve the efficiency and productivity of new hires, leading to improved outcomes.
Organisations that invest in employee quality learning and development see a 24% higher margin compared to those that do not.
CAPEX funding OPEX eLearning simulations
In a revenue-constrained environment, it can be a challenge for operations to set up funding for operational training and maximise budgets for usage. One way in which operations can leverage funding from capital projects is by identifying opportunities to incorporate training and development into these projects.
For example, operations can work with project managers and stakeholders to identify areas where training and development can be integrated into capital projects. This can include identifying skills and knowledge gaps within the organisation and developing training and development programs to address these gaps.
In addition to identifying opportunities to incorporate training and development into capital projects, operations can also work with project managers and stakeholders to identify potential funding sources for these initiatives. This can include seeking funding from external sources such as grants and sponsorships, as well as leveraging internal resources such as budgets and employee development funds.
Simulation for knowledge uniformity
Ensuring uniformity in the capability of staff is important for many organisations, as it helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows the same procedures all the time. This can improve efficiency and reduce the risk of errors and incidents occurring.
One way in which organisations can drive uniformity in the capability of staff is by providing consistent and standardised training and development opportunities. By using eLearning technology such as simulations, organisations can create interactive and engaging course materials that are consistent across the organisation and provide staff with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their roles.
To further drive uniformity in the capability of staff, organisations can establish protocols and procedures for training and development and regularly review and update these protocols to ensure that they are effective and appropriate for the organisation. By following these practices, organisations can ensure that everyone is consistently trained and has the same level of capability.
By using digital learning technologies to teach and assess competency, and establishing protocols and procedures for training and development, organisations can drive uniformity in the capability of staff and ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows the same procedures all the time.
“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so that they don’t want to.”— Richard Branson
Creating training economies of scale
For organisations with large numbers of staff, training and re-accreditation can be a significant undertaking, particularly if there are high churn rates. In order to win economies of scale and reduce costs, administration, and duplication, it is important for organisations to adopt a strategic approach to training and development.
One way in which organisations can win economies of scale when training and re-accrediting thousands of staff is by using interactive eLearning technologies such as desktop visual simulators to create engaging course materials that can be delivered to large numbers of staff at once. By using platforms such as desktop, the cloud, or mobile, organisations can provide staff with access to course materials anytime, anywhere, which can help to minimise disruption to daily operations and reduce the overall cost of training and development efforts.
To further win economies of scale and reduce costs, administration, and duplication when training and re-accrediting large numbers of staff, organisations can establish protocols and procedures for training and development and regularly review and update these protocols to ensure that they are effective and appropriate for the organisation. By following these practices, organisations can ensure that their training and development efforts are efficient and cost-effective.
Parity of eLearning – don’t get left behind
Parity of training systems is important for many organisations, as it helps to ensure that all staff are receiving consistent and high-quality training and development opportunities. By comparing their training systems to those of other units and competitors, organisations can identify areas for improvement and ensure that they are providing best practice solutions for their staff.
One way in which organisations can compare their training systems to those of other units and competitors is by conducting surveys or focus groups to gather feedback and insights from staff. This can help to identify the types of training and development activities that are most engaging and effective for staff, and allow organisations to tailor their efforts accordingly.
To ensure parity of training systems, organisations can also establish protocols and procedures for training and development and regularly review and update these protocols to ensure that they are effective and appropriate for the organisation. By following these practices, organisations can ensure that their training and development efforts are consistent and high-quality.
Simulation as a modern eLearning strategy
Modern learning strategies and technologies can play an important role in engaging and motivating staff, particularly when it comes to learning activities that relate to what staff are doing in their spare time. For example, if staff are playing games on their phones, organisations can use learning technologies such as gamification to create interactive and engaging course materials that are similar to these games.
By using modern learning strategies and technologies that are aligned with the interests and expectations of staff, organisations can increase the effectiveness of their training and development efforts and improve retention of information.
To determine what staff are doing in their spare time and how their learning expectations can be met, organisations can conduct surveys or focus groups to gather feedback and insights from staff. This can help to identify the types of learning activities that are most engaging and effective for staff, and allow organisations to tailor their training and development efforts accordingly.
In addition to gathering feedback from staff, organisations can also leverage data analytics within an LMS eLearning platform to track the performance and progress of staff during training and development activities. This can help to identify areas where additional support or guidance is needed, and allow organisations to adjust their training and development efforts accordingly.
Workforce staff are also using simulation games in their spare time, such as popular simulators like Euro Truck Simulator 2, Farming Simulator, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Bus Simulator, City Car Driving, SimCity, Goat Simulator, Gas Station Simulator, Powerwash Simulator, Truck Simulator Ultimate or Grand Theft Auto. Many of these simulators are built on Unity or Unreal Engine, the same technologies used to make our urban eLearning simulations.
Staff BYOD vs supplied devices for eLearning
The choice between staff bringing their own devices (BYOD) or organisations providing devices can have significant implications for training and development efforts. Both approaches have their own pros and cons, and it is important for organisations to carefully consider which approach is the right fit for their needs.
One of the main benefits of staff using their own devices is that it can save organisations time and resources that would otherwise be spent procuring, distributing, and maintaining devices. In addition, staff may be more comfortable and familiar with their own devices, which can help to improve engagement and productivity during training and development activities.
However, there are also risks associated with staff using their own devices, particularly when it comes to security and data privacy. Organisations need to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorised access, particularly if staff are accessing eLearning programs or other resources through the internet.
On the other hand, organisations providing devices can help to ensure that staff have access to the tools and resources they need to succeed in their roles. This can be particularly important for organisations that require specialised equipment or software for training and development activities.
However, the costs associated with procuring, distributing, and maintaining devices can be a significant investment for organisations, particularly if they have large numbers of staff. In addition, staff may be less comfortable and familiar with devices that are provided by the organisation, which can impact engagement and productivity during training and development activities.
The right choice between staff using their own devices (BYOD) or organisations providing devices will depend on the specific needs and goals of the organisation. By carefully considering the risks and benefits of both approaches, organisations can make an informed decision that is best suited to their needs.
Visual eLearning and information retention
Increasing information retention rates is an important goal for many organisations, as it helps to ensure that staff are retaining the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their roles. One way in which organisations can increase information retention through learning technologies is by using visual, interactive media such as visual 3D simulation to create engaging and immersive learning experiences. By requiring staff to physically interact with course materials, organisations can help to make the learning experience more memorable.
To measure the effectiveness of learning technologies in increasing information retention rates, organisations can use data analytics to track the performance and progress of staff. One of the advantages of an eLearning system is that statistics such as completion rate, time taken to complete tasks, and learning outcomes can be automatically recorded and generated by the system, making analysis of training effectiveness very straightforward.
According to studies, a significant proportion of the population has visual learning as a dominant style, followed and linked with auditory and kinaesthetic learning preferences. This is another reason why digital eLearning platform development can deliver such beneficial outcomes.
eLearning in decreased attention spans
Managing decreased attention spans can be a challenge for organisations when it comes to training and development, as staff may be more easily distracted by other visual content, such as social media. To design innovative eLearning platforms that are effective in managing decreased attention spans, it is important for organisations to adopt a strategic approach that leverages the unique capabilities of learning technologies.
In addition to using interactive and immersive learning technologies, organisations can also use techniques such as microlearning and gamification to break course materials down into smaller, more manageable chunks that are easier for staff to absorb and retain. By providing staff with regular breaks and a mix of different learning activities, organisations can help to keep staff engaged.
“We’ve got to put a lot of money into changing behaviour.”— Bill Gates
Simulations increase staff engagement
Improving employee engagement is an important goal for many organisations, as it can help to increase retention of information and improve the effectiveness of training and development efforts. One way in which organisations can improve employee engagement is by using interactive web-based technologies such as simulation to create engaging, enjoyable, and memorable learning experiences.
To further improve employee engagement, organisations can also gather feedback and insights from staff through surveys and focus groups to identify the types of learning activities that are most engaging and effective for them. By tailoring training and development efforts to the needs and preferences of staff, organisations can improve buy-in and engagement.
Future-proofing is an important consideration for many organisations, particularly when it comes to staffing capacity in the face of a retirement boom and aging workforce. To mitigate the critical risk of staffing shortages, it is important for organisations to adopt a strategic approach that leverages the unique capabilities of learning technologies, such as simulated training.
One way in which organisations can use simulation in eTraining to future-proof their staffing capacity is by investing in training and development programs that are designed to upskill and reskill staff to meet the changing needs of the organisation. By providing staff with the opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge through interactive and immersive learning experiences, organisations can help to ensure that they have the capabilities they need to succeed in their roles now and in the future.
To further future-proof their staffing capacity, organisations can also consider implementing flexible work arrangements and leveraging remote work technologies to make it easier for staff to balance work and personal responsibilities. This can help to attract and retain top talent, particularly in an increasingly competitive job market.
Simulation for breadth and depth of learning
3D simulation training can be a valuable tool for organisations looking to increase the breadth and depth of skills of their staff. By providing interactive and immersive learning experiences, simulated visual training can help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of training and development efforts.
One benefit of desktop simulation in training for increasing the breadth of skills is that it can provide staff with a more comprehensive understanding of complex topics and procedures. By using simulation to bring training materials to life, organisations can help to clarify and reinforce key concepts, making it easier for staff to grasp and retain new information.
In addition to increasing the breadth of skills, visual simulation training can also help to increase the depth of learning by improving retention of information. Studies have shown that learners who engage with interactive and immersive learning technologies tend to retain more information and perform better on tests compared to those who learn through more traditional methods such as lectures and reading.
By providing interactive and immersive learning experiences, organisations can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of training and development efforts and ensure that staff have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
Reducing downtime and duplication
Using visual simulated desktop training can greatly reduce the impact of downtimes, lost time, cover time, and duplication on an organisation. By moving training to a digital platform, staff can access the learning materials at their own convenience, rather than having to schedule time off work or travel to a training location. This can help to reduce the costs associated with training, such as travel expenses and lost productivity due to time away from work. Additionally, digital learning platforms often allow for the tracking and measurement of progress, so that organisations can more easily monitor the effectiveness of their training programs and identify areas for improvement. Overall, simulator training can help to streamline the training process, saving time and resources for both the organisation and its staff.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”— Alvin Toffler
Procedural memory improvements via simulation
One of the benefits of using 3D simulation in training is the ability to improve procedural memory. Procedural memory is responsible for learning and remembering how to perform tasks, such as driving a car or operating machinery. By using simulation to demonstrate tasks repeatedly, it becomes easier for trainees to develop muscle memory and improve their ability to perform the task efficiently. This is especially useful in industries where safety is a top concern, as it can help to reduce the risk of errors and accidents. Additionally, by allowing trainees to practice tasks in a virtual environment, it is possible to reduce the need for physical training, which can be costly and time-consuming. This can help to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of training programs, making them more cost-effective and easier to scale. Overall, the use of simulation in training can be a valuable tool for improving procedural memory and helping trainees to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their careers.
Incident response and safety simulation
Simulating incident response, from the mild to the dramatic, is a high value way to improve productivity.
One of the key benefits of CGI training is the ability to improve incident response and safety. By using CGI simulations, staff can practice and repeat emergency response scenarios (such as railway evacuation procedures), allowing them to become more familiar with the correct actions to take in various situations. This repetition can lead to automated responses, which can be especially important in high stress, fast-paced emergency situations.
Simulated visual desktop training can also allow for the creation of more realistic emergency response scenarios, helping staff to become more familiar with the nuances and complexities of these types of situations. This can improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of incident response and safety efforts, helping to protect both staff and the wider community. (Read more about how CGI simulations can improve disaster resilience and community safety)
Additionally, simulated training can be used to track and measure the performance of staff in emergency situations, allowing for real-time feedback and the ability to identify areas for improvement. This can help to ensure that staff are consistently performing to the highest standards, further improving the overall safety of the organisation.
“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”— Aristotle
Simulated application of operational principles
Traditional training methods may only test a trainee’s knowledge in a specific scenario, but with simulation eTraining, it is possible to create simulations that allow trainees to apply their knowledge to a variety of situations. This can be especially useful in industries where principles and practices must be applied to new or complex environments on a regular basis, such as the infrastructure, construction, railways, and defence industries.
Simulated training allows for the creation of simulations that test a trainee’s ability to apply their knowledge to new or complex environments. This can be done through the use of interactive puzzles and choices that require trainees to solve problems using their knowledge of principles and practices. By testing trainees in a variety of situations, it is possible to ensure that they are able to apply their knowledge to new or complex environments with confidence.
In addition to testing knowledge, simulated training can also be used to improve the automation of responses in incident and emergency situations. By allowing trainees to practice responses through repetition, it is possible to improve the consistency and correctness of their responses. This is especially important in industries where safety is critical, such as the construction and defence industries.
Overall, the ability to apply principles and practices to new or complex environments, as well as improve incident response and safety, are important benefits of 3D simulation training that can have a significant impact on an organisation’s performance and success.
Induction, situational awareness and familiarisation
Simulated 3D training can greatly benefit organisations by saving time during the induction and scenario familiarisation process. Traditional methods of training, such as in-person lectures or onsite demonstrations, can be time-consuming and may not effectively convey the necessary information to new hires or employees needing refreshers. With new Unreal Engine or Unity based 3D simulation training, workforce employees can quickly and easily familiarise themselves with new scenarios through interactive, digital eLearning modules. This not only saves time for the organisation, but also improves the quality of learning and knowledge retention for the employee. In addition, CGI simulated training allows for more flexible and efficient updates to scenarios, ensuring that all staff are consistently up-to-date on the latest processes and procedures. Overall, the use of gamified simulation training for induction, situational awareness and scenario familiarisation in spatial and urban situations can greatly benefit organisations by streamlining the training process and improving employee comprehension and retention of new information.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”— Malcolm X
OH & S competence with LMS feedback loops
One benefit of CGI simulated training is the ability to provide immediate feedback on the competence of the trainee. This can be particularly useful in high stakes or time-critical industries, where the consequences of mistakes can be severe. With traditional training methods, it can take time for feedback to be provided, which can slow the learning process and increase the risk of mistakes being made in the interim.
Using traditional training methods, such as in-person or classroom-based training, it can be difficult to provide timely feedback to trainees. This can lead to long wait times for feedback, which can be frustrating for staff and may even lead to a decrease in motivation and engagement.
Simulation training allows for the creation of complex spatial virtual environments in which trainees can practice tasks and receive immediate feedback on their performance. This can help to ensure that trainees are learning and applying the correct procedures, and can quickly identify and address any areas of weakness.
Measurability and simulated micro tasks
Simulated training can be an effective way to improve the measurability of micro tasks, as it allows trainers to create specific, targeted learning modules that can be easily tracked and measured, linked to the organisation’s LMS. This is particularly useful in industries where precise task execution is critical, such as in manufacturing or construction. By using CGI simulation, trainers can break down complex tasks into smaller units and provide clear and concise instructions for each step. This can help learners better understand and retain the material, and also make it easier for trainers to track their progress and identify any areas where additional support may be needed. Additionally, CGI can allow trainers to customise learning modules based on individual learner needs, allowing for more personalised and effective training.
eLearning simulations connecting to the LMS
Simulated training offers a range of benefits to organisations, particularly in terms of controls and connections between systems, including Learning Management Systems (LMS). By linking learning tools to staff records, organisations can improve the efficiency of their training processes and reduce the administrative burden of managing training. This can help to eliminate paper forms and duplication, saving time and resources. Additionally, linking learning tools to staff records can help to ensure that training is consistent across all staff, and can provide a clear record of who has completed what training and when. This can be particularly useful in industries where regulatory requirements for training are strict, as it helps to ensure that all staff are fully trained and compliant. Using simulated CGI eTraining to improve controls and connections between systems can help organisations to streamline their training processes and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their training efforts.
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”— John F. Kennedy
Improving fidelity and acuity of eLearning
One way to improve the fidelity and acuity of learning analytics through in eTraining is by using interactive and immersive learning experiences. Instead of just reading or listening to lectures, simulated 3D spatial training allows employees to actively participate in simulated scenarios and make decisions that can impact the outcome. This allows them to practice and apply their knowledge in a safe and controlled environment, while also receiving immediate feedback on their performance. This not only helps to improve retention of information, but also allows employees to test their understanding of complex principles and practices in a flexible manner. Additionally, using simulation in training can help to reduce the impact on production by allowing employees to learn and practice skills without taking plant or equipment offline. This is particularly useful in environments with limited staff and resources, where downtime can have a significant impact on productivity.
Data-driven competencies from 3D eLearning
There are several ways that simulation training can help organisations improve data-driven decision-making around staff competence and risks. One of the main benefits of eLearning in the workplace is the ability to track and measure progress and performance through the use of learning analytics. With CGI simulated training, organisations can access detailed information on how well individual trainees are retaining and applying new knowledge, as well as identify areas where they may be struggling. This allows organisations to tailor their training programs to address any specific weaknesses and ensure that staff are competent and ready to handle potential risks in the workplace. Additionally, the use of simulated training can help organisations gather data on the effectiveness of different eTraining and standard training methods, allowing them to continually improve their training programs and ensure that they are providing the best possible learning experience for their staff.
Consistent learning across staff and time
Visually simulated training can be a powerful tool for improving consistency in learning and application across staff and across time. By using CGI training, organisations can create highly immersive, interactive learning experiences that allow staff to practice and apply their knowledge in a safe and controlled environment. This can be especially useful in industries where consistent application of knowledge is critical for safety, such as the construction, transportation, and healthcare sectors.
One of the key benefits of simulation training is that it allows organisations to create custom eLearning solutions that can be tailored to the specific needs and learning styles of individual staff members. This can be especially useful for staff who may have different levels of experience or expertise, as it allows them to progress at their own pace and focus on the areas where they need the most support.
In addition to improving consistency in learning and application, simulation training can also be an effective tool for gathering data and making data-driven decisions around staff competence and risks. By tracking the progress and performance of individual staff members in a desktop simulation training environment, organisations can identify areas where additional training or support may be needed and make targeted investments to improve overall competence and reduce risks.
Updatability of simulation learning modules
The use of simulated training in infrastructure and other industries has numerous benefits when it comes to updatability and costs to update learning modules. With traditional training methods, updates to materials and processes can be time consuming and costly, requiring the printing and distribution of new materials or the organisation of in-person training sessions. Visualisation and simulated eTraining allows for updates to be made quickly and easily, with changes able to be implemented immediately in the digital learning environment. This not only saves time and resources, but also ensures that staff are always receiving the most current and accurate information.
Increasing refresher cadence
In addition to the convenience of updates, visual simulated eTraining also allows for an increase in the cadence of refreshers. With traditional training methods, refresher courses can be infrequent and logistically challenging to organise. Online training, on the other hand, allows for staff to complete refresher courses at their own pace and on their own time, eliminating the need for scheduling and minimising the amount of time staff must be taken off the job. This not only improves the efficiency of refresher training, but also helps to ensure that staff are always up-to-date on the most current processes and procedures.
Complex problem solving for cognitive skills
Simulated training is effective in teaching complex problem solving skills and supporting the development of cognitive strategies. Through interactive puzzles and choices, staff can develop their ability to think critically and solve problems in a variety of situations. This is particularly useful in industries where the work environment is changing and staff need to adapt to new challenges.
In addition to its benefits for complex problem solving, simulated training is also an effective method for delivering procedural task learning. By using interactive and immersive experiences, staff can develop muscle memory and knowledge of specific tasks through repeated demonstrations. This can improve the efficiency and consistency of their work, and can also increase the safety of their work environment.
‘Fit for purpose’ eLearning: 1D, 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D…
When choosing the most appropriate learning media for a particular training need, it is important to consider the fit for purpose of the media. Words, charts, diagrams, and 2D visuals can all be useful for conveying certain types of information, but gamified simulations based on Unreal Engine or Unity provide a more immersive and interactive experience that can be particularly effective for demonstrating complex tasks or procedures. Indeed the eLearning 3D content as a live simulation or a more scripted interactive video experience can include charts, writing, diagrams and multiple choice answers.
In the eLearning context we might illustrate that:
- 1D learning is a set of words and paragraphs, forms and check-boxes.
- 2D learning is a diagram, image, chart or illustration that increases content richness and explanatory prowess.
- 3D eLearning is a photo or video or 3D rendering that can be moving or static and should give richer information content if done well.
- 4D eLearning is 3D in motion, it is interactive and responsive to the user – either with an actual gamified simulation, or one packaged to appear so, via linked video and imagery.
- 5D eLearning would include the full richness of audio and kinaesthetic experience with interactivity – such as a typical computer game simulator like SimCity or Microsoft Flight simulator.
By carefully considering the learning objectives through a training needs assessment and risk assessment, as well as the goals for change management for staff productivity, organisations can choose the most appropriate media for their training needs.
Multi-platform eLearning simulations
When it comes to choosing platforms and technologies for training, it is important to consider the specific needs and goals of the training program, as well as the capabilities and preferences of the learners. Some factors to consider may include the type of content being delivered, the level of interactivity required, the available resources and budget, the strategic goals for a return on investment, and the need for mobility or accessibility.
Simulated 3D eTraining can be a particularly effective option for certain types of learning, such as for complex or technical subjects, or for situations where hands-on practice is necessary but not possible or practical, or is just too expensive. Simulation-based gamified training can be delivered via desktop, the cloud, mobile devices, virtual reality (VR) and physical simulator systems, depending on the needs of the learners and the goals of the training. Once the digital twin of the model or spatial environment is established, skilled suppliers can convert the content into any number of simulations and simulated scenarios.
For example, if you had a train such as Siemens rolling stock, this can be converted into simulations for decoupling, signalling, door faults, driver training, pre-checks and general communication needs. Using tools like Unreal Engine or Unity, the eLearning provider can build the storyboards and scripts to ensure the storytelling can transfer between platforms. This allows staff from the train pilot, train controller, project management teams and others across a transport department to deliver effective simulations with data visualisation for training and learning online.eTraining can also be accessed on-demand, allowing learners to refresh their skills and knowledge at their own pace and on their own schedule, without the need for costly downtime or travel.
It is important to carefully evaluate platforms and technologies available, and to choose the ones that best meet the needs of the training program and the learners. By taking a strategic and flexible approach to training, organisations can ensure that they are providing the best possible learning experiences for their staff, while also maximising the efficiency and effectiveness of their training efforts.
Most organisations are unaware of the power of modern gamified simulations built using tools and technologies like Unreal Engine or Unity – or the ability of a skilled training provider to leverage a singular asset to support educational storytelling online based on a typical training needs assessment from a manager, operator or department of transport, for example.
The benefits of gamification in eLearning
Gamification is the process of applying game design elements to non-game contexts, such as learning or training programs. Gamification can be used to engage learners and increase their motivation by making learning more interactive and enjoyable.
Gamification can make learning more engaging and enjoyable, which can increase motivation and retention of information. Gamification can also provide learners with immediate feedback on their performance, allowing them to track their progress and identify areas for improvement. Gamification can also be used to encourage learners to take ownership of their learning, as they are given the opportunity to make choices and decisions that affect their own learning journey.
However, it is important to note that gamification is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is important to carefully consider the needs of the learner and the learning objectives before implementing gamification.
“Effective gamification is a combination of game design, game dynamics, behavioral economics, motivational psychology, UX/UI (User Experience and User Interface), neurobiology, technology platforms, as well as ROI-driving business implementations.”— Yu-kai Chou, Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards
“Every enterprise is learning and teaching institution. Training and development must be built into it on all levels, training, and development that never stop.”— Peter Drucker
eLearning in VR helmets – what’s the risk?
The use of virtual reality (VR) in training has gained popularity in recent years due to its ability to provide immersive, realistic experiences for learners. However, there are also several potential downsides to using VR in training. One concern is the additional cost and complexity involved in implementing VR systems, as they often require specialised hardware and software. Additionally, the use of VR may not be feasible in certain situations, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic when the use of shared VR helmets headsets may not be safe.
Some studies have raised concerns about the potential health effects of extended VR use, such as motion sickness and visual fatigue. Despite these challenges, the use of VR in training still has merit, especially in high-stakes, high-risk environments where traditional training methods may not be sufficient. It is important for organisations to carefully consider the costs and benefits of implementing VR training before making a decision.
VR solutions can have limited throughput issues, with only one person able to do the training at a time, and staff needing to go to the site and be inducted in how to use the equipment and systems – especially compared to desktop and mobile accessibility. VR can also have fidelity issues, as they are lower powered devices, requiring extra costs to down-sample information into lower capability devices. These disadvantages can offset the advantage of ‘deeper immersion’ thus organisations need to choose carefully when and where to use which digital learning technology.
What is the future of work?
Will our urban environments be managed by fewer people with high technology using VR, AR and digital devices?
How are you training staff and the workforce to prepare for this future?
Simulation is reducing commissioning timelines
One proven benefit of using CGI simulated eTraining with time-critical projects including Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM – part owned by MTR, JHG and UGL) in construction environments is the ability to reduce timelines for commissioning in these time-critical scenarios.
By taking learning from the physical to the digital simulated environment, it has been possible across projects with CAPEX value exceeding $20bn of level crossings projects for the Victorian Level Crossing Removals Authority to reduce the impact on construction and commissioning workflows, allowing projects to be completed more efficiently.
This is particularly useful in situations where time is of the essence, as it allows staff to receive the training they need without slowing down the overall project. In addition, CGI training may offer other benefits such as the ability to simulate complex scenarios or environments that would be difficult or impossible to recreate in the physical world, allowing staff to gain a deeper understanding of their work and better prepare for the challenges they may face on the job.
Increasing regulatory requirements for training
One way that simulated training can help organisations meet increasing regulatory requirements for training is by providing a flexible and scalable platform for delivering content. Simulations in eTraining can be quickly updated to reflect changes in regulations, and can be accessed by staff from any location, making it a convenient and efficient way to ensure that all staff are up to date with the latest requirements. With the growing list of regulatory requirements from regulators like the Office of the National Safety Regulator (ONSR) and National Training for the CPCCWHS1001, eLearning can be customised to meet the specific needs of your organisation, ensuring that staff receive the most relevant and targeted training possible. This can help to increase the effectiveness of the training, leading to better retention of knowledge and improved performance on the job.
Reuse of data – BIM to ‘SIM’
The use of simulated training can help organisations improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their learning and development initiatives by allowing them to reuse existing BIM data and raw survey information. By accessing and utilising data from sources such as survey and design information, as well as staff records and historical data, you can create more relevant and targeted learning experiences that better meet the needs of their employees. This can help to reduce the costs associated with training and development, while also improving the overall quality and believability of eLearning and extracting value out of digital twins and BIM models. The use of real data presented in eLearning can help you create more realistic and accurate simulations and scenarios, which can improve the transferability of skills and knowledge to real-world situations.
Who hosts the eLearning simulations?
Another consideration is the choice of how to manage, distribute, and disseminate data. This includes deciding whether to host learning materials internally, locally, or on a private cloud. Each option has its own benefits and costs, and it is important to consider the impact of using visual media on latency, streaming, and accessibility. Depending on an organisation’s capacity to manage these factors internally, it may be more efficient to use external and web services.
For example, some clients, given their internal network capacity, are unable to efficiently provide a low-latency experience of a visual simulation product to the staff. The workforce is accustomed to using Youtube, Vimeo, Netflix and Amazon Prime – so for a professional organisation to have a network that can only deliver PDFs and images may not meet the expectations of the staff. In this light, it may be better to use a provider to manage the streaming of data.
Security and privacy, ethics and culture
In the age of digital learning, it is important to consider the security and privacy of staff information as well as the ethical and cultural implications of training content. With the increasing use of technology in training, it is important to ensure that suitable measures are in place after a risk assessment to protect staff information and maintain appropriate levels and balance of privacy and sharing.
Your training programs should also consider the ethical and cultural implications of their content and ensure that they are inclusive and respectful of diverse perspectives as well as the tone of your corporate entity. It is important to carefully consider these issues to ensure that training is effective and meets the needs of the organisation and staff.
Business competitiveness and efficiency
Simulated training has the ability to upgrade the business competitiveness and efficiency by having a highly trained and aligned workforce. When your personnel are well-trained and understand their roles and responsibilities, they are better able to work efficiently and effectively. This can lead to improved productivity, reduced errors, and ultimately a more competitive and efficient business.
Simulation training can help ensure that all employees are on the same page, working towards the same goals and using the same processes and procedures. This can be especially important in industries where safety is a major concern, as a misstep by a single member of staff can have serious consequences. By using desktop simulation training to ensure that your staff are fully informed and prepared for their tasks, businesses can reduce the risk of accidents and incidents, leading to a safer and more efficient workplace.
“There are only two way a manager can impact an employee’s output: motivation and training. If you are not training, then you are neglecting half the job.”— Andy Grove
Learning Centre of Excellence
Simulated training can greatly benefit the development of a Centre of Excellence for organisational learning. 3D simulations allow for the creation of highly realistic and interactive learning environments that can be accessed remotely, reducing the need for physical travel and allowing for a more consistent learning experience for all staff. Additionally, the use of CGI simulations in training can improve the quality and depth of learning, increasing retention and recall of information.
By centralising learning functionality, organisations can streamline their learning governance methods and ensure that all staff are receiving the same high-quality training. This not only improves the competency and performance of individual staff members, but also helps to align the organisation as a whole, increasing efficiency and productivity. This can be particularly useful in industries with complex processes or equipment, as it allows for the simulation of real-life scenarios and the opportunity for staff to practice and perfect their skills in a safe and controlled environment.
The incorporation of 3D simulated desktop and mobile training into the development of a Centre of Excellence for organisational learning can greatly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of training programs, ultimately leading to a more competent and aligned workforce.
Simulation Partners vs Internal Capability
One of the key benefits of simulated training is its ability to provide realistic and immersive learning experiences that allow learners to practice and apply their skills in a safe and controlled environment. This type of training can be particularly useful for high-stakes or high-risk industries such as construction, infrastructure, railways, and defence, where real-world mistakes can have serious consequences.
However, building quality simulation training material is a complex and time-consuming process that requires specialised expertise and flexible technologies. As such, it is important to partner with a responsive provider who can deliver the capabilities and support needed to meet your unique training needs.
An experienced simulation and training provider can help organisations create highly realistic and engaging learning experiences that are tailored to their specific goals and objectives. By working closely with subject matter experts and other stakeholders, an eLearningprovider can help you build training modules that are relevant, effective, and engaging for your staff.
In addition to providing the technical expertise needed to build high-quality training materials, a responsive desktop simulation provider can also help manage the distribution and dissemination of training materials, as well as ensure that they are accessible and secure. By working with a partner who understands your needs and can provide ongoing support and guidance, organisations can ensure that their training efforts are effective and efficient, and that they are able to meet the regulatory requirements and other challenges faced.
Building an internal 3D capability can be very time consuming and expensive. It requires the hiring and training of specialised personnel, as well as the acquisition and maintenance of expensive software and hardware. This can divert resources and attention away from core business activities.
In contrast, partnering with a responsive provider allows an organisation to access the expertise and resources of a specialised team without the need for significant investment. This can be especially beneficial for organisations that have fluctuating or occasional training needs, as it allows them to scale up or down their 3D simulation capabilities as needed.
Furthermore, a reliable external partner can provide a wider range of technologies and approaches for a broad range of training needs. This can be especially important in industries that require frequent updates or changes to training material.
Partnering with a responsive provider can be a more efficient and cost-effective way to access the benefits of simulated training.
No need for multi-million dollar physical simulator machines
Using simulation for training can provide a number of benefits compared to traditional methods such as physical simulators. One of the main advantages is the cost savings. Building and maintaining physical simulators can be very expensive and time-consuming, whereas modern simulated eTraining can be delivered from a desktop, the cloud, or a smart device, providing a much better return on investment.
One benefit of desktop or mobile training is the increased throughput. With physical simulators, there is often a limited number of people who can be trained at one time. In contrast, desktop simulation training can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously, making it more efficient and cost-effective.
Simulated training is also more flexible than traditional methods. It can be easily updated to reflect changes in legislation or procedures, and it can be accessed from any location with an internet connection or run locally on a phone, tablet or desktop. This makes it ideal for organisations that operate across large areas, or that have a mobile workforce.
Overall, desktop simulated CGI training provides a cost-effective and efficient way to train staff, with the added benefits of flexibility, immersive learning experiences, and improved retention. It is an increasingly popular choice for organisations looking to train their workforce in a range of industries.
“If learners think it looks bad, you may have lost a good percentage of the battle in getting them to pay attention.”— Patti Shank
Staff pride and worksite incidents
One of the benefits of desktop simulated eTraining is that it can help mediate the impact on an employee’s “pride” and psychology when it comes to errors and knowledge gaps. Traditional training methods may rely on an employee or operator to admit when they do not have the necessary knowledge or skills to complete a task, which can be a blow to their pride and potentially lead to a lack of confidence in their abilities. No staff like to be embarrassed.
Simulated training, on the other hand, allows for the repetition of tasks and immediate feedback, which can help employees and operators build their skills and knowledge in a more supportive and non-judgmental environment. This can lead to increased confidence and pride in their abilities, as well as a greater willingness to seek out additional learning opportunities.
Additionally, the use of simulation in eTraining can help reduce the temptation for employees and operators to rely on others when they are unsure of something, as they can work through tasks and scenarios on their own and get immediate feedback on their performance. This can ultimately lead to a more self-sufficient and knowledgeable workforce.
Urban CGI simulation-based training
We have over 20 years of experience in eLearning training course development and can assist you with eLearning course design created using our high-fidelity 3D simulation-based technology. We have extensive experience with eLearning portal development, educational web applications, and mobile app development. We take great pleasure in building an eLearning platform for exploring interactive simulations and delivering highly effective workplace training.
To gain a full overview of the eLearning services we offer, please visit our industry training page or reach out to us for a discussion to see how we can assist.
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Ben is a Civil Planner and has been in the planning industry for over 25 years. He’s passionate about bringing together modern technologies and agile methodologies to make urban planning smarter. Holding a PhD in Design-based Planning Systems, Ben’s thesis explored form-based urban design and planning. In it he compared post-war reconstructive city building to places like Oxford Circus, London, and developed and confirmed a method for city planning based on space over use. Connect with Ben at LinkedIn.