Aug. 19, 2014 10:30 AM
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LITE's virtual environments are changing the way local employees learn how to do their jobs.

 

Training in Progress
LITE's virtual environments are changing the way local employees learn how to do their jobs.

Imagine you're on an offshore oil rig for the first time. You walk onto the platform, overwhelmed by the noise and intense operations happening around you. You realize that the training courses you completed a few days ago via PowerPoint didn't adequately prepare you for this experience. You begin to walk over port side to meet with your new supervisor only to be yelled at by five different workers to "Stop! Don't walk there! Danger zone!"

 
LITE created a virtual learning environment to help train Frank's International employees. 

Jacke West, training director for Frank's International, was looking for a training solution for his employees when he walked through the doors of Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise a few months ago. West knew he had an obligation to his employees to ensure that not only were they effectively trained, but that the training programs were engaging and could incorporate gamification, a new training trend that uses game thinking and mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems.

LITE is a technology resource to businesses, focusing on immersive or real-world simulation training called Immersive Virtual Learning Environments that can lower costs, aid employees in retaining information and measure data points about players in the training simulation for supervisor evaluation, thereby potentially reducing mistakes and injuries. West says when he met with LITE's staff of software engineers and computer graphics artists, he knew instantly that this partnership was exactly what he needed.

LITE's product development team has expertise in immersive, multi-person, interactive training environments that increase a worker's capabilities and effectiveness in environment familiarization, training on complex machinery and in dangerous situations, and in measuring competency and retention of information.

"Leveraging the expertise at LITE gave us a great way to test new approaches to learning and training our current workforce," West says. "We went in looking for ideas and came out with a solution."

This solution is what drives LITE's mission of economic development by serving the needs of Lafayette's existing workforce. LITE does this by leveraging emerging and advanced technologies coupled with the ability to bring game play and meritocracy into training programs, essentially re-defining the way we traditionally learn and retain information.

When LITE first met with West, he needed a product that was engaging and effective, but after the first consultation, in which we introduced our IVLE product and explained the different platforms that we could deliver the training, we both knew it would be a winner.

Immersive technology is an environment created to simulate either a physical or fictional world. Think Sims, but with analysis, learning and training in mind. To add an even deeper layer of immersion, LITE has the Oculus Rift, which is light-weight, 3D stereoscopic, virtual reality goggles that place someone inside the environment for a fully immersive experience. These goggles are very similar to the Total Immersion Space, or glass egg, but they are portable, cost-efficient and provide a different immersive virtual reality experience.

 
Frank's International Training Director Jacke West tests the final product 

Working with West over the next few months, we took his original PowerPoint and textbook-based training program and elevated it to a high-end, immersive, virtual reality training video game. This video-game-based environment was designed to train platform workers how to recognize hazards, when a dangerous situation requires a stop work order, and how to rig up a bail. During sprint reviews of the project, West and a few of his team members were able to come in to our facility and test the game at different levels of development. Throughout the process, the trainees who work on the equipment and perform the job duty were able to provide LITE with technical feedback and scenarios to ensure that the program was as true to life as possible. This was the solution, and it exceeded everyone's expectations.

Not only are Frank's International employees able to train remotely, anywhere in the world, but training managers could potentially have the capability to receive data on the how the trainees learn and correct learning deficiencies as they happen. This function is an added capability that Frank's International can incorporate into its training program. Not only can we re-create the sights, sounds and dangers of an active rig, but we also have the technology to capture back-end data on how the trainees perform during the simulation and give real time constructive feedback.

"Frank's International wanted a program that allowed our workers to learn and retain information for safety reasons," West says. "LITE has exceeded our idea of what the future of training looks like, and our workers are excited about learning on this game-based technology."

Skyra Rideaux is events and PR manager at LITE, which enhances training programs in the oil and gas, health care and education fields by creating Immersive Virtual Learning Environments that re-create the sight, sounds and dangers of real-life situations. Clients are able to train and teach employees anytime, anywhere and on any platform without the consequences of staff injury or damage to expensive machinery. Contact her at Skyra@lite3d.com.

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