Sunday, 01 June 2008 11:03

Tips For Introducing Virtual Worlds

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Early adopters are often lonely in their enthusiasm and overwhelmed by the considerable marketing needed to convince corporate decision-makers that a new technology is worth the investment. Brandon Hall Research offers four tips to help convince your training department to use virtual worlds for learning:

>> Avoid Live Demonstrations. While real-time demonstrations of virtual worlds can be done, it becomes too easy to lose focus while presenting and demonstrating at the same time. To ensure effective communication, you could initially show a digital video of the immersive environment, called a machinima. Most virtual world companies provide these for free.

>> Conduct a Formative Evaluation. At the beginning of the presentation, ask if anyone in the group has used an immersive environment before (formative research) and discover if the experience was positive or negative. Interact with these people throughout the presentation; with some minor encouragement, they could quickly become champions of your cause.

>> Take Advantage of Visuals. Using many visuals, such as screen shots and small videos, will help your audience see the 3-D environment and recognize the learning possibilities. Make sure you show corporate-looking screen shots — for instance, a boardroom setting — so your future champions mentally connect immersive environments with corporate training. These visuals also serve as a backup in case the technology fails to work.

Brandon Hall has published four reports about using virtual worlds for learning, including “Virtual Worlds for Learning: Tips to Help Convince Your Training Department to Use Immersive Environments.”

For more information, visit the Website http://www.brandonhall. com/publications/15jan8.shtml.  

Early adopters are often lonely in their enthusiasm and overwhelmed by the considerable marketing needed to convince corporate decision-makers that a new technology is worth the investment. Brandon Hall Research offers four tips to help convince your training department to use virtual worlds for learning:

>> Avoid Live Demonstrations. While real-time demonstrations of virtual worlds can be done, it becomes too easy to lose focus while presenting and demonstrating at the same time. To ensure effective communication, you could initially show a digital video of the immersive environment, called a machinima. Most virtual world companies provide these for free.

>> Conduct a Formative Evaluation. At the beginning of the presentation, ask if anyone in the group has used an immersive environment before (formative research) and discover if the experience was positive or negative. Interact with these people throughout the presentation; with some minor encouragement, they could quickly become champions of your cause.

>> Take Advantage of Visuals. Using many visuals, such as screen shots and small videos, will help your audience see the 3-D environment and recognize the learning possibilities. Make sure you show corporate-looking screen shots — for instance, a boardroom setting — so your future champions mentally connect immersive environments with corporate training. These visuals also serve as a backup in case the technology fails to work.

Brandon Hall has published four reports about using virtual worlds for learning, including “Virtual Worlds for Learning: Tips to Help Convince Your Training Department to Use Immersive Environments.”

For more information, visit the Website http://www.brandonhall. com/publications/15jan8.shtml.  

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