Best practices in role playing soft skills in virtual worlds final

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  • 1. Best Practices for Role Playing Soft Skills in Virtual Worlds
    Patti Abshier, MSPH, MSW, Ph.D. (ABD) Candidate
    Michelle Hyland, BAH, BEd

2. This Presentation Will Cover
Challenges/Lessons Learned
Q & A
3. Overview: Training in Virtual Worlds
4. Overview:Training in Virtual Worlds
Information Giving
Static Displays
Classroom lectures and discussions any information based topic
Skills Training
Economic Forecasting
5. Overview: Training in Virtual Worlds
Soft Skills
Motivational Interviewing (Boston University)
Counseling Skills (in general or topical)
Medical Interviewing Techniques
Breastfeeding Peer Education HIV Focused
6. Benefits of Virtual Worlds RP Based Training
Motivational Interviewing (Boston University)
Counseling Skills (in general or topical)
Interactions-roles not extensively scripted out
Less staff time in creating discussion trees
Less staff time programming in the decision trees
Training remains dynamic and fluid
Benefits of Using Virtual Worlds for Soft Skills / RP Training
8. Benefits of Using Virtual Worlds for Soft Skills / RP Training

  • Decreased travel expenses and other know factors 9. Cost based on SIM rental and building time; once scenes built limited upgrades needed 10. Linden Lab has just bumped prices for not-for-profit regions; this may impact the use of Second Life for training and technical support

Benefits of Using Virtual Worlds for Soft Skills Training
Adult Learning
Allows for individual, small group, large group interactions and activities
Participants learn from the experience and expertise of others
Multiple modes of learning via web-based distance learning
11. Lessons Learned: Benefits and Challenges
12. Benefits
Using text for relaying information

  • Unlike a webinar, pilot test participants stated they like that they can scroll up and see what they missed if they have to be away from the computer 13. They dont feel like they are missing out


  • Participants viewed the pilot trainings as more engaging than webinars or other non face-to-face trainings

Enhanced Follow-up
Using Second Life training for skills not as an event but a process
Practice in non-threatening and fun environment
Virtual reality trainings over time 3, 6, 12 months enhance skills
Back to cost and travel cannot do this many follow-up trainings in real world; too costly both fiscally and time-wise
14. Challenges
User Tech Ability in Second Life
Basic Movement Skills
Quests and Activities Prior to
Teleportation Skills
Quests and Activities Prior to Training and explanation again at beginning of session
15. Voice and Text Chat
Practice and explanation prior to beginning of training as component of introduction
16. Challenges
Graphics and Processors
Information on basic systems requirements sent out prior to training in Introduction Manual on Viewer 2
Prior load and test of systems by participants
Explain basics of problems how to turn graphics down to usable levels
Keep participants informed of known issues fair warning concept
17. Challenges
Virtual World Technology
When Voice fails use Ventrilo or other VOIP provider
Group Chat/IM Failure
Individual IMs if small group
Reconvene in large group
18.SIM Lag (Known issue!)
Let trainees know ahead of time of this possibility and what to do
graphics settings, wait, accept that based on their system
some things may not resolve (sculpties specifically)
Make sure all avatars have no scrip heavy items on
Assign avatars (you control what is worn)
19. Challenges
Creating Animations
Time to create body positions for RP and Classroom
To be effective, need to have multiple animations in each chair
Sit open, sit partially closed, contemplating, angry, etc.
General sits, raise hand etc.
Skill of Builder
Static poses not always effective
Change in poses based on questions asks
20.Training Trainers
To navigate the virtual world
Sit, walk, teleport, etc.
To emote
Have to be very aware of body language and gestures
Have to have relatively good language skills to express body language through emotes
Train trainers on using Second Life prior to the training including how to keep conversations going, how to know when someone has left their computer, etc.
21. Challenges
Role Play Environment
2-Dimensional thinking in a 3-Dimensional World
Use of multi-elevation learning areas
Keeping Individuals Engaged
Same issues as when conducting a webinar
Activities and discussion programmed in every 15 minutes
22. Monitoring RP and Group Activities withoutbeing intrusive
Invisible avatars
Participants informed in advance of usage
23. Restricting Access & Assigning Avatars
Restrict access to SIM to group members only
Check sim prior to all trainings for off sim text griefing
Assign Avatars
Only LM to the site
Given avatar assignments no more than 4 days prior
Adult Areas
Change passwords after training
24. Q & A