Learning to use complex equipment can be overwhelming especially if the equipment has a control screen that requires complete understanding of the equipment’s mechanisms. When that equipment due to its size inhibits bringing the equipment to a classroom or having the class gather around the screen which may limit the class being able to even see the screen. Being able to stress and demonstrate the critical nature of the configuration process with a class of 10-20 students and limited time to get the points across, can become incapacitating for the instructor as well as the students. Overcoming these restrictions can be extremely important based on the critical nature of the processes that the equipment manages.
Which techniques could be implemented to solve this dilemma? In many cases this situation could be a mobile virtual reality training setup that mimics and simulates the activities that the students have to learn especially on large or not portable equipment or equipment that cannot provide enough hands-on-training but requires the student to learn by doing. Such types of equipment could be medical, machinery, and many others.
By using a virtual reality simulated application, learners can be allowed to see a highly realistic simulated configuration of the unit’s controls specific to the system of operation. Providing a real-life simulation with the “tactile” training experiences mirroring the feel of flipping a switch, turning a dial or pressing a button or hearing a system sound, rather than navigating through a computer-based training course, can prepare the student for the realistic use of the equipment.
If the training application is designed to supplement and integrate with existing training using an interactive, hands-on simulated environment, it would be most suitable for those who have already passed the requisite introductory training. The presentation mode of the application could be used by the instructor to display a PowerPoint Presentation for instruction and/or, at the same time, allow the student to use the application on a networked tablet to follow along and mimic the steps as they view the instructions. Using visual, auditory and tactile training, at the same time as the instructor presents, enables the learners to be engaged and active and allow the instructor to assist any student that runs into difficulties.
Results and Benefits
- Utilizing a mobile training case containing the instructor laptop and the student tablets, the instructor has the capability to set up and control all learner tablets during the instructional portion of the training.
- Using tablets for the students, allows for use in portrait and landscape modes.
- The components can be controlled through an independent WIFI so the no additional connectivity is required.
- If there are various versions of the equipment, all versions can be available on the laptop, and streamed to the tablets, so the instructor is prepared for any version of the equipment.
- The virtual reality simulation provides the instructor the ability to introduce system faults and testing function for each device and replicate the functions and response to all the system’s functions.
- The training components can be contained in a Pelican case for portability.
- There is flexibility to add future versions of the equipment at a later time.
- Students feel as if they have used the actual equipment and are more comfortable using the actual equipment when they have completed the course.