Embracing the Future with Simulation-Based Learning
There are many situations in which better preparation leads to better outcomes. When MRIGlobal was approached about our capabilities as simulation-based learning developers, we were inspired by the challenge.
When our engineers build customized training software to pair with specific hardware or virtual (VR), augmented (AR), or mixed-reality (MR) capabilities, it allows for proficient training-no matter where the trainee is. Simulation-based learning is ideal for unique systems and limited material resources.
“We already have so many capabilities, but we are always willing to be flexible and figure out how we can adapt to our client needs.” – Mary Pierce, Project Manager
Benefits of simulation-based training near you
Experience begets skill, and when operating unique, life-saving equipment, it’s imperative the user is skilled. Traditional learning methods such as lectures, reading, videos, and demonstrations provide technical information. However, they do not provide hands-on experience, and many learners find solely theoretical learning leaves a gap in their understanding.
Training using simulated equipment and environments affords learners a “hands-on” experience before they use the actual machine or technology they’re learning to operate. Training in a virtual or augmented world accelerates familiarity and enhances equipment functionality and operational procedures.
Reinforced education through virtual training
On-screen instructions prompt learners through the virtual tutorials. The combination of reading directions and immediately acting upon them in the simulated environment increases familiarity with processes and the equipment itself. It also develops muscle memory that will aid in future response time and accuracy.
Consistency in training through simulators
With virtual or augmented reality training, structured tutorials ensure every operator receives the same education using the same approved techniques. This maximizes the safety and efficiency of the training. It also allows trainees to move through the material at their own pace, benefitting their comprehension.
Replicates the real world
Within the development and implementation of virtual reality training, the real world can be replicated with a high degree of accuracy. With virtual 3D visualized equipment, we even have capability of adding audio cues such as engine noise, switch clicks, and alarms so trainees get the most authentic experience of hands-on operation.
“We can put you in a battlefield. We could put you in an unfriendly environment. We can do scenario-based training that is more real-world than in the classroom. Clients can come back and have us program additional scenarios. You never exhaust all possible relevant situations. Different types of clients may use the same basic technology but in different ways, which is why we are able to do so much customization,” said Mary Pierce.
Gamification helps engagement
For centuries, people have been developing skills through gameplay. Gamification is the application of game-design elements and principles within non-game contexts. Gamification in virtual reality training improves trainee focus and engagement. It also makes for better training efficiency and ease of use. In the field, this preparation yields well-trained operators who are ready to meet the goal of the project.
Unmanned Ground Vehicle Training
In partnership with ForgeFX Simulations, MRIGlobal created a robust, cutting-edge virtual simulator to train on the remote operation of an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). This simulated-based learning environment allows soldiers to become familiar with the UGV hardware and software in addition to the teleoperating of unmanned reconnaissance vehicles. Simulation-based training was an effective and efficient way to train end users, regardless of the location of the trainee or asset.
Related: Systems Integration with MRIGlobal
In this training simulator, MRIGlobal designed three training scenarios geared toward teaching the primary set of skills users require for mission success in the UGV. Through scenario-based learning (SBL), an immersive training environment teaching learners to meet realistic work challenges while giving them realistic feedback, trainees get the most real-world adjacent training possible.
Scenario One: Familiarization with the UGV
Teaching users the functionality of the UGV cockpit and dashboard is a key part of any training. The UGV training simulator allows the user to interactively train on all necessary steps, including the correct sequence of those events and the proper timing intervals. With graphic overlays to highlight and label the positions of switches, users are able to connect the training with the actual layout of the UGV. Audio cues are used to reinforce that real-world feedback.
Scenario Two: Graphical User Interface Operation
In the second scenario-based learning simulation, users train on the steps needed to start-up, drive, operate, and stop the UGV within a simulated environment. In the real world, soldiers control the UGV using an X-Box controller and the graphical user interface. The virtual training responds identical to the real world controls, allowing trainees to learn how to proficiently operate the UGV.
Scenario Three: Mission Operations
This scenario emulates the full experience of remotely controlling the UGV. Using the knowledge gained in the first two scenario-based learning simulations, trainees must successfully operate the UGV on a mission. The simulator supports an open terrain environment which allows the trainee to make independent decisions on how to maneuver the UGV to the target location. Topography includes obstacles like fallen trees, rocks, ponds, and muddy roads to challenge the driver. Game physics realistically mimic real-world challenges, such as the roll-over potential on slopes and system damage from impassable terrain or collisions.
Foster engagement with performance reporting
Most people are more motivated and engaged when they can measure their improvements and successes. Therefore, an important aspect of gamified learning via virtual reality training is performance reporting which can be used to rate the user’s proficiency against the ideal results of whatever simulation they engage.
In MRIGlobal’s simulator training tool, user interaction metrics are displayed at the completion of the session. Not only does measuring progress in this way increase the engagement of trainees, it also gives an immediate indication of whether or not the trainee needs additional training.
MRIGlobal: Adapting to new challenges with innovation
MRIGlobal practices efficiency and strives to meet new challenges with innovation and state-of-the-art technology. Bringing together subject matter experts from within the Institute as well as industry partners, allows MRIGlobal to provide creative solutions to our clients requests, such as the need to develop advanced training concepts for the next-generation warfighter.
One example of our innovation is the development of an Augmented Reality training module with Microsoft HoloLens glasses that combines real world and augmented world together into one. The user can wear the glasses to perform new equipment operation and maintenance training, using either a real-world training device or a completely holographic image of the device.
Getting started with MRIGlobal
Contact MRIGlobal now and get started with the best virtual reality training capabilities near you.
As a not-for-profit contract research organization, we are an objective partner driven to make our clients’ products successful. We specialize in defense, human health, pharmaceutical sciences, in-vitro diagnostics, energy and environment, agriculture, and global health.
To learn more about our work or how we can help you, contact us today. If you are part of an agency, business, or academic institution seeking assistance with a project, use our Project Quote Tool to get started.
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