e.

Learning Age N° 120501

N° and issue date : 120501 - 01/05/2012 Circulation : 9500 Page : 12 Frequency : Monthly Size : 90 % eLearningAge_120501_12_304.pdf 932 cm2 Web Site: http://www.technology-in-education.co.uk

Buildingtrades
It is

possible
f re

to

build vocational skills faster with innovative 3D simulations asGenny Dixondiscovered
, in

you' looking forways
approach

which games technology canaccelerate the
a ,

a

flexible engaging safe environment
, , s

in

which

to

learn

.

It

learning process and reduce training costs Train4TradeSkills offers
. in

new

where eachstudent' skills and confidence could bebuilt upandtheirfear
addressed
. It

would alsobe place failure
a of

Its solution scoopedtwogolds the 2011 E-Learning Awards.
to . a

alsowanted

to

reduce the waste andenvironmental costsassociated

Interactive 3Dsimulated learning environments can helpengage learners

with practising these skills using expensive rawmaterials such ascopperpiping.
The overall objective was clear
to ,

competency But howcanthey make difference for learning traditional skills whenthe learners are not regular computer users?
and speed up the time

increaseachievement This was
.

accomplished by

:

engaging theuser and increasing userconfidence

;

Thechallenge
Thechallenge which Train4TradeSkills faced was
to

decreasing peer pressure

;

findan innovative method

of

providing
of

a

safe environment
;

in

which

to

learn the more dangerous elements

training apprentices andadult returnees that wouldretain theirinterestand enthusiasmandprovide rapidformative feedback raise theirflagging
to

trade skills

making hands-on learning easily accessibleand providing greaterflexibility for the learners.

confidence levels.
With over 500 students
, , at

any one timestudying range
a

of

building skills

In

addition the project aimed
reduce the cost

to :

plumbing joinery plastering andeven traditional trades such asstone masonryand thatching
-

increase profits bythe reduction
to

of

waste and the increase
;

in

student throughput

;

Train4TradeSkills wanted

to

raise achievement ratesand give its students

the environment

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1/2
Copyright (e.Learning Age) No reproduction without authorisation

Train4TradeSkills

e.Learning Age N° 120501

N° and issue date : 120501 - 01/05/2012 Circulation : 9500 Page : 13 Frequency : Monthly Size : 90 % eLearningAge_120501_12_304.pdf 932 cm2 Web Site: http://www.technology-in-education.co.uk

e

ti

provide learning platform where traditional trades suchas stone masonry thatching that areoften handed down from generation generation could be taught cost-effectively andbecome moreeasily accessible increasethe speed production highly effective 3D virtual reality training appropriate across multitude skillsets.
or a , to , ; of of a of

game-based learning
"

Box Seven tips forengaginglearners
:

in

Identify the rightneed Make point considering games andsimulations when dealing with
a of

costly wasteful
, it "

or

dangerous trainingenvironments

or

workplaces.

The learning solution
3D interactive virtual environment which learners could practiceusing thetools their trade using an innovative hand-helddevice the Unanomote which becomes themode operation forall the toolswithin thevirtual world Thedevice able mimic anytool and requires theuser
Train4TradeSkills developed
in a of " of " to . is to , "

Make sure works
Ensure the virtual environment can runsuccessfully onany

they wereusingthe theworkshop andcan become screwdriver drill saw any tool which the user needs employ order complete task Hinged one endwith built resistance thedevicehelps for instance thestudent feelthey are actually using pipe bender Byusing this they master the technique how bend pipe without wasting severalpieces copper pipe as they learn.
produce thesamemovements that would be required
in a if

platform including learners' own mobiledevices. Measure thebenefits control group who continue usetraditional classroom methods canhelp.
, to A

"

Build confidence
Older learners
in

in

a

safe environment
.

actual tool

a

a

or

,

,

,

.

at

to

in

to

a

theopportunity confidence.
"

to

particularmay lack confidence Allowthem safe environment build their succeed
to in a

a

in

,

,

,

of

a

.

,

of

to

a

The custom built and patentedmotion-tracking interface represents and groundbreakingdevelopment
of : in ,

unique vocational training and comprises three
a a ; "

Don' forget thetutor Their role animportantpart the virtual training world both clarifying the design and observing and reinforcing
t of is , in in

correctmethods.

an infrared camera head-mounted display. low costunitwhich will allowstudents home as well as the classroom beforeattempting taskswithinthe use workshop Thesystem canbe used withPC andMac mobiledevices such as iPadsand iPhones andvia any web browsers andallowsstudents determine theirown learning path depending on their base knowledgeand learning abilities. designing the solution Train4TradeSkills' firststep was research all the
pieces hardware theUnanomote This hardwaresolution provides
it at in , ; to a . , to , to In ,

"

Competition motivates! The experience winning an enjoyable serious game can help learners overcome theirfear failure. Adapt individual needs
of of to

Let learnersdetermine their own learning path depending ontheirbaseknowledge andlearning abilities.
skill and confidence when facedwith thecorresponding task
, in III

processes withthe help

of

specialist tutors However whilethe processes were
. , ,

the workshop.
of

largely described as being thesame each tutor had slightly different approaches
to

The system met all its objectives increasing theconfidence and engagement
of

the variousdetails
each

of

themethods

.

it

used flow diagrams andstoryboards
,

to

find

learners allowingthem
,

to

succeed free from peer pressure and fear
in of

failure.

theoptimal paththrough eachindividual task before goingthrough them with

the tutors findthe common universally-approved progression structure. Students usetheUnanomotewithin virtualhouse where they can navigate select tools measure components andmaster each task The tutor can observe and reinforce correct methods as well as discuss any misuse thetools so that thestudent betterprepared andsafer when theyenterthe workshop. All user interactions had be representative the real-lifeprocedures they would be expected undertake theworkshop However thesimulation had strikethe right balance betweenthe multiple repetitions needed reallife learn each task with thenumber repetitions needed explain theprocess while keeping thelearner well engaged and enjoying learning. The hardware design itself presented additionalchallenges The high sensitivity needed simulate the action the various tools using accelerometer metrics andmotioncontrolswas not idealfor mouse cursor control on the screen This was overcome by using limitednumber buttons onthe device control themenus andicon lists the virtual environment. The i3Dsoftware engineprovides structured way develop training by using core object-oriented programming concepts that encourage reuse code. This significantly reduces development timeandincreases speed production.
to of , a , , . , of , is of to . to to in , in to to of , , . to of or of a .

reducing the risk injury asthe student better prepared beforethey enter the workshop. The solution also metthe aims reducing theamount wasteand the associated coststypicallyincurred by thissort professional training Costs spent oncopper pipe assetsreducedby 20%% For fullclass thirty apprentices thecosts copperpipe assets run £49 ,400 year However after incorporating the learning simulation into the course the company realises an impressive saving just under£10 ,000for everyclass thirtyover the duration
The system also brings significant benefits
is of of of : . a of to a . in , , , of of of a

full teachingyear.
Time spenttraining reduced by 10-30%% This system reducedthe amount
. of

time

that student needed
a

to

by 30%%

,

resulting

in

a

classbyanestimated10%% and the workshop full class. possible saving £90 ,600for the education
spend
in in , of a of ,

The i3Dengine offers great potentialfor expansion
to

allowingTrain4TradeSkills
.

from thetraditionalconstraints

handheld

in

to

professional vocational training By breaking free textbook andworkshoplearning can supply both students andcourse providers with an effective way teaching addition develop
it

intootherfields

of

it

of

,

of

.

In

,

to

a

the i3D Engine delivers an engaging yet powerful simulation

in

theform

of

an

of

educational game.
The students enthused

of

giveme confidence.

" "

It' s

their comments included This definitely going more interactive The concept aneasy way learn
" to : is ; to it' s . , "

Results
The value
of

of

thisidea pretty amazing.
is

the system was demonstrated by dividing theclass intotwo groups
a / in

,

with one groupusing traditional handbooks workshop approach and theother
group integrating the interactive virtual videogame
Those who practiced their skills
in

of

their learning. thevirtual simulationshowed greater degree familiarity with thetools andprocesses involved As result they acted with more
a . a ,

head research TowardsMaturity Created as part thee.learning age and TowardsMaturity Good Practice Partnership
DrGenny Dixon
of , , of

f7 '
( k

Pe4

GOOD PRACTICE

PARTNERSHIP

2/2
Copyright (e.Learning Age) No reproduction without authorisation

Train4TradeSkills