Putting knowledge into action. This is the statement we hear the most from our customers. If you are a training manager, chances are you face the same issues. To date, the best way to engage your learners into the training is to use serious games. More precisely, 3D simulations. At the first glance, everything seem clean and easy. Nevertheless, when it comes to serious game development, hurdles are along the way. Graphical environments. Characters. Scenario based learning. All the elements you have to put together can overwhelm you. Suddenly, your dream of creating 3D simulations becomes a technical nightmare. Fortunately, there are easy to use solutions out there. Keep reading to learn how to create your first 3D simulations quickly and easily.
How To Create 3D Simulations For Non-Game Designers
You have starving learners, willing to absorb the learning content you are about to publish. Nevertheless, you have to create this training in an interactive way. Otherwise, attendees will get bored pretty quickly, leading to poor information retention, and thus low results.
That is when 3D simulations come into play. This kind of training is what your learners are looking for. Even if they do not know it yet. With 3D Simulations, you enable them to interact with the training. You enable them to put their knowledge into action.
Interactivity enhance engagement. Engagement increase information retention. If your learners understand your learning content and apply it, their skills will skyrocket. This is a matter of fact.
You might be wondering: «OK, 3D simulations seem to be a really nice way of setting up my training simulations. But how can I create one? I do not have any technical skills».
Do not worry about the technical part. As we will go through this article, you will see that authoring tools out there can help you out, with a bunch of ready-made content, easy to implement into your 3D simulations.
Let us get started.
1. Start With Your Why.
Even before thinking about the «How», you first have to know your «Why». Why are you creating these 3D simulations? If you cannot find a clear answer that resonates with you and your learners, stop reading this article. You will not go anywhere with your project. Your training simulation must have a purpose. It might be to train sales reps to be more knowledgeable about their product, leading to more sales for the company. It might be to train nurses or militaries to increase their skills, in order to save more lives.
Whatever your reason may be, you still have to find one. This will give you credit in front of your boss and co workers, as well as a clear vision to keep going and move forward, when times become hard.
2. Setup Nice Backgrounds.
Now that you have a strong why behind your eLearning project, nothing can stop you. First of all, you have to create your graphical environment. And you have to do it the right way.
Get into your learners’ shoes. They are about to attend a 3D simulation to improve their skills. Whatever skill it may be, you have to make sure that they identify themselves to the environments of the training. Imagine. Interacting with environments similar to your daily life. Having to solve problems you face every day. Sounds good, right? In the end, this is exactly what today’s learners are after. Being put in front of real life situations, that they face every day, in 3D simulations. This way, they can do mistakes. This way, they can try things. This way, they can take the time to step back, and learn.
What about the technical part? Well, strange as it may seem, this is the easiest part. At least, it can be, depending on the solution you choose. You have several options here:
- Tailored training simulations.
- Off the shelf training simulations .
- Use an authoring tool to create your own 3D simulations.
We do recommend that you use the third case: The authoring tool. Once again, you can find a lot of different softwares of this type on the market. Nevertheless, there is one that balance intuitivity for the technical part, as well as interactivity for your learners. This solution is called ITyStudio.
ITyStudio provides you with libraries of ready-made content. You will find below some environments already available for you.
3. Put In Place Great Characters.
We are not done with graphical environment yet. You cannot create appealing 3D simulations without good looking characters.
At this stage, it is extremely important that you anticipate 2 factors:
- How will your learners perceive the characters they can choose and play with.
- How will your learners perceive the characters they interact with.
Indeed, learners have to identify themselves with the characters of your 3D simulations. For those of you who play video games, have you already enjoyed playing a game in which you hate the main character? You know, when he does not have any charisma, etc. Well, your learners will have the exact same feeling if you do not create the characters of your 3D simulations wisely, and according to your audience.
On the other hand, it is equally important to put in place nice avatars to interact with your learners. This might be the time for you to establish personas. The idea here is to think about stereotypes of customers or partners your attendees interact with, in their every day life. You can then create your characters, based on these personas.
Once again, ITyStudio has a ready-made library of characters for 3D simulations.
4. Define Your Pedagogical Structure.
According to your why, you now have to think about your pedagogical structure. In a nutshell, this step is about defining which skills areas you want to assess in your 3D simulations. This is commonly done by setting up what we call axes analysis. These are really important, and will be your Key Performance Indicators, regarding your 3D simulations. Thanks to it, you will be able to understand where your learners are doing well, as well as the areas of improvement.
Let us take a practical example. You are planning to create 3D simulations about sales. One axe could be empathy. Another one could be Product knowledge. Etc. We know from our customers’ experience that below 3 axes, the analysis is too poor, and that beyond 6 axes, it becomes too complex.
So, the bottom line is: Set between 3 and 6 axes of analysis. Technically speaking, this step is really easy with the intuitive ITyStudio interface.
5. Give Feedback To Your Learners.
Besides, you also have to give feedback to your learners. This step is often neglected. Yet, it is really important. If you do not provide your learners with clear feedback on their answers, how can they know if they are getting better?
Above all in 3D simulations, where you can add interactivity. Nevertheless, you have to do it the right way. A bad feedback would be a generic one. You cannot give the very same feedback to all of your learners, without taking into account their score, their strengths and weaknesses. That being said, do not worry. Providing learners with customized feedbacks is not complicated. Not at all. At least with ITyStudio.
Simply setup a score ratio, and associate it with a feedback.
This was related to the conception side. You might be wondering how the learners would be viewing their results from their side. You will find below a screenshot of how the pedagogical results appear in ITyStudio:
6. Storytell Your 3D Simulations.
Now that you have your structure ready, it is time to write your scenario. The hardest part here is to create your content the right way. Here, pedagogical engineers and training managers will be your best allies. You might also need some guidance with experts, depending on the topic of your 3D simulations. Most importantly, this is where you have to setup interactivity.
In this part, you are creating dialogues between characters. In this part, you are setting up the different interactions between your learners and their environments. In this part, you are designing several paths for the training, linked with the different choices of the learners.
This is where you chose to insert quizzes, to insert medias into your 3D simulations, such as videos, PDFs, etc. Once again, the technical part is really made easy by ITyStudio. Thanks to its drag and drop, branching scenarios system, the only limit is your imagination. All you have to do is creating your scenes, and linking them together. Every action being done with the drag and drop system, or right click.
You will find below a screenshot of this feature:
7. Export Your Module Into Your Learning Management System Platform.
If you made it this far, congratulations! Your 3D simulations are ready to get published. However, it is important to export your training module to the right format. By doing so, you will be able to import it into your Learning Management System. About 80% of our customer use the SCORM format. This way, they have a great visibility on their learners behaviors.
ITyStudio has an easy to use «export» button, that will do it for you.
Even if SCORM is the most commonly used format, it is not the only one. With ITyStudio, you can also export to the following formats:
- HTML5 (available soon).
8. Analyze And Fix.
Last but not least: Analysis. Use your Learning Management System to understand how your learners are using your 3D simulations.
Once you discovered some areas of improvement, use this information. Create another serious game on this topic, to make your learners even better. They will appreciate it, because they will feel listened and understood. Not only that, but it is also helpful for the organization. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your team, you know what to fix and how.
Finally, if you have a Return On Investment approach, these figures will help you analyzing some Key Performance Indicators, such as the engagement rate as well as the skills improvement of your learners.
Now, It Is Time To Take Action: Create Your First 3D Simulations For Free!
Hopefully, these 8 tips gave you an insight on how to create your first 3D simulations on your own. We highly encourage you to use ITyStudio. As explained, the ready-made content provided, as well as its intuitive user’s interface, will enable you to create interactive learning content.
Your 3D simulations will be interactive, enhancing your learners engagement. This engagement will lead to greater overall results of your training.
Ready to go to the next level? Give it a try!