Virtual scaffolding training for the always-on generation
To a young apprentice who lives immersed in digital media, working with paper-based training books and videos put together in the 1980s can be a little dull.
Sean Crane from the Skills Institute saw a need to update material for the courses they run on scaffold construction. With the help of an Australian Flexible Learning Network Innovation grant, the Skills Institute team engaged Sprout Labs to help them produce a new video and develop eLearning resources for training.
The result was a fully interactive, drag-and-drop on-screen tool packed with background info, simulations and "˜games' designed to familiarise new starters to the basic concepts of scaffold construction before going for practical training.
Students first watch the new video, which captures authentic scaffolding erection and dismantling procedures. The video includes 3D animations and graphical overlays.
Then they tackle the on-screen component, which guides them through a series of exercises in which they control the sequence and placement of 3D scaffolding parts. The student's score increases when he or she does the right thing, and each strives for a new high score. The simulations provide realistic experiences that allow for trial-and-error learning in a safe environment.
Because the system was built using Flash it can be used in most IT environments.
The feedback so far has been great. Many of the students have seen it as game and have really engaged with it. Some industry experts have asked, "Where can we buy it?"
There are a number of opportunities to use this kind of learning approach, particularly in the fields of dogging and rigging.