As noted in last week’s post, I don’t intend to become an expert in 3D learning. But that doesn’t mean I’m not keenly interested in the new book on Learning in 3D written by the highly respected Karl Kapp and Tony O’Driscoll.
What I most like about the book is the way that it outlines a clear vision for architecting 3D learning environments. Karl and Tony ground their work in a solid set of design principles that highlight the importance of identifying business goals, contextualizing activities, making activities first-person real to the learners, taking advantage of collaboration as a learning tool, and prompting reflection and synthesis of learning. Their 3D learning experience architecture then identifies what they call “macrostructures” and “archetypes” – important aspects of design and specific techniques that are available in 3D immersive environments. I can’t do their conceptualization of 3D architecture justice without lifting out chapter 4 in its entirety, but I tell you it is very well thought out. I urge learning professionals who work with simulations in any environment (3D or otherwise) to get your hands on a copy of this book.
At a panel discussion last week, Tony shared his observation that 3D learning “hits all the marks of disruptive technology” (and as a professor on the subject, he should know). Tony believes that it’s not a matter of if we want to get on board, but when. Just leafing through the book, Learning in 3D, really helped me to get a handle on why the platform can be so impactful. Studies have clearly demonstrated that interacting in this kind of immersive environment can really help to develop skills, and the 3D space with live interactions is more realistic and challenging than pre-programmed simulation environments.
I agree that 3D learning will continue to grow, and will eventually lose its considerable barriers to entry, making it more likely that some day I may actually have to create an avatar alter-ego. It’s still not an area of the field that I want to explore deeply in the near term, but I’m really glad we have great thinkers like Karl Kapp and Tony O’Driscoll leading the way here.
See: Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration, by Karl M. Kapp and Tony O’Driscoll (2010). Pfeiffer. Highly recommended!