Thursday, May 08, 2008

Not GTA IV but...

Simulation sure seems to work for working on aircraft:
You couldn't blame Master Corporal Jason Houle for feeling skeptical about his mission.

As part of a test run for new simulation software, the aviation technician at Canadian Forces Base Borden had just one day to teach nine recruits about the propeller system on the C-130 Hercules transportation aircraft.

Most of his students ranged in age from 19 to 25 and knew nothing about aviation technology. It was their first day of a 16-month course and students usually waded through weeks of theory before tackling the complex propeller system.

“But you know what? It turned out really, really well,” MCpl. Houle said. So well, in fact, that in one afternoon the students were working at a skill level they would not normally reach until 12 weeks into the course.

It seems the Canadian Forces may have something to teach the business world when it comes to using technology to bridge generational gaps.

For the last four years, the air force has been evaluating how its technicians respond to training that incorporates three-dimensional simulations of some of its equipment...

The air force found that software designed by Vancouver-based NGRAIN Corp. drastically reduced the amount of time and money spent on training and knowledge retention. Instead of studying theory, watching an instructor disassemble an engine and then having one or two chances to apply the knowledge on costly machinery, students could do it all themselves with an instructor facilitating...

With the click of a mouse, the technology allows technicians to, say, disassemble and reassemble the Hercules propeller system, see how each part relates to the others and learn about snags that may arise.

“We just don't want a prettier PowerPoint presentation,” said Lt.-Col. Gord Danylchuk, a staff officer for technician training systems based at 1 Canadian Air Division in Winnipeg. “You want it to have a wow factor, but you want your solution to burn less resources, or … allow a person to acquire knowledge quicker.”

Over the last four years, NGRAIN designed several proofs of concept for the air force, which included a model of the Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopter's flight control systems, fuselage and rotors; an anti-submarine warfare torpedo; the Hercules propeller and engine systems – even a hangar to see how many airplanes they could fit inside.

Starting this fiscal year, major technical training schools like the Canadian Forces bases at Borden, Greenwood and Trenton will begin to use NGRAIN's technology – after that, the technology and other enriched media will roll out across the air force...


Blogger Unknown said...

"It seems the Canadian Forces may have something to teach the business world when it comes to using technology to bridge generational gaps."

It might be new to Borden but this activity isn't new elsewhere. The US military has been doing similar for years.

Many businesses worldwide) have been using this method to train their employees for years. Some companies go as far to include job based simulations for pre-hire testing of pre-existing SKA (skills, knowledge, abilities).

Technical colleges across North America have used this methodology to teach elements of trades training. A number of interesting projects have been written up in Educational and Medical journals and are the source of peer-reviewed presentations at a number of Educational conferences across the world. Colleges and Universities are starting to use 3D immersive (VR) environments such as Second Life to enhance courses such as architecture...

1:52 p.m., May 09, 2008  

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