Thursday, April 17, 2008

From Inception to Delivery - ILS Case Study

Presentation: From Inception to Delivery, an ILS Case Study
Presenter: Kevin Conti and Vincent Brown
Our Worlds of Makrini

"Game" - a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, but would a game by some other name sell to the executive suite? - Jeff Johannijman (sp?)

Immersive Learning Simulations becoming the more dominant preferred terminology.

Perception - quality (content, usability, design) is more important than quick and cheap.

Our Worlds of Makrini (history)
- Followed a traditional and successful diversity facilitated training program.
- Airport in Nashville, Tennesee (real time in person and text message.)
- Back of Napkin conversation with another trainer.
- Desire for the future - totally outside of the box.

The live conversations will never go away. But add other ways to learn.

If you can have people have a common experience - can then have better conversation later.....

Goal - create an environment where people can have an open dialog.

Use another world - to try to break down stereotypes.

Features and Uniqueness
- Immersive learning simulation - what if you make a different decision. Show different impacts.
- Teaches diversity and inclusion behaviors
- Links behaviors to business variables and results. Gotta show and scale.
- Interactive, engaging and emotional - also, make sure NOT TRIVIAL
- Innovative delivery platforms.
- Graduated levels of difficulty.
- Creative storyline - the strength of the SMEs.
- Proprietary behavioral models - also wanted to show way the SMEs works.
- Never done before

Wanted a client sponsor.
- Money
- Also show that will work for an actual client
- The client that agreed
+ Very strong training and instructional design team.
+ Also familiar person in instructional design head. Creative tension - resulting product better.

Needed someone to help bring the game to life - used PIXELearning.
- Not from US (actually helpful
- Wanted someone to stretch them
- Had to be expert in field of gaming
- Had end-state. Needed someone who could help, guide and collaborate from beginning to end.

The Challenge
- When did ROI - found that classroom cost increase exponentially with the number of employees vs. the (slightly) higher up front costs of game development that stays relatidvely fixe no matter how many employees.

The Solution
- A Serious Game - a way of solving organizational training and other problems.
- Serious Games can seem complex
+ Technical
+ Creative
+ Gotta have strong instructional design skills
+ Game theory
+ Simulation and graphic design for usability and appearance
+ Software engineering
+ Subject matter expertise (maybe most important for a good product)

This isn't lumps of learning objects strung together - this is a very complex beast.

(Hopefully they will post the preview video)

- Introduction that outlines objective and context, introduces characters, areas and play
- Simple tasks to help teach the play
- Initial engagement that sounded logical from a business perspective

The Creative Process
- Every Tuesday and Wednesday - they have meetings within Makrini to test and write script.
- Started to write, thinking will give all to designers.
- Now working in parallel - they develop, the SMEs write as they see the pieces. Regular deliverables to show progress plus decide where to go next.
- Actually tested the characters to see how people react.
- They started narrow - but was able to get much broader as they started going through the design process.

- Identify business needs
- Understand learning objectives
- Identify barriers and challenges
- Concept creation (plus getting the SMEs to understand what they are building and create the background history)
- Detailed design
- Development and deployment

Still in concept creation

Really wanted to make sure that it addressed the business needs
- Gotta be relevant to entire employee populatoin
- Diversity critical business imperative
- Test on the least technical person
- Recognize training fatigue around some topics (like diversity)
- Get emotional connection
- Focus shift from evolving the competency (awareness) to behaving inclusively
- Drive deeper understanding and competency (awareness not enough)
- Move effectively to engage the new generation workforce (screw talk - text)
- Create a personalized journey (gotta engage in 3 or 4 different levels).
- Responds to the diversity fatigue
- Continued recognition as thought leder and practitioner (for the CLIENT)
- Something different!

Learning Objectives
- Increase awareness
- Increase competency
- Increase supervisor ability

- Increase productivity
- Reduce cost
- Reduce exposure

Barriers and challenges
- Does this happen in the business (relevancy). Designing for widespread (more than just one client).
- Delivering it over a range of client PC/IT environments
- Length of time required to "complete" the game. Gotta be able to break away and reflect.
- Significant development costs and timeframes.
- Visual imagery - desensitizing the conversation through characters. Lots of reaction testing. Lots of time thinking this through due to the subject matter.

Level 1
- new hire orientation
- complaint against colleague
- Ethnic clashes (can research to predict a little)
- Communication challenges (stereotypes)
- Building familiarity, comfort and trust (at the end - from challenges to skilling. How to build this...)
- Developing a droid (gotta test this, make them leverage the diversity. The droid is the spy - gotta make sure the droid has the right behaviors.)

Level 2 and 3 in development

Concept Creation / Business Scorecard
- Employee engagement
- Market sensitivity to price
- Market reputation and potential
- Customer satisfaction
- Product desireabiliy

- Virtual business environment - can have face-to-face conversations that are based on the game experience.
- Hybrid - want real dialog (with structured leaders guide) in real life.
- Embed mini-games, simulations for reinforcing key concepts
- At each point in the level - a decision point. Multiple paths. Thematic.

The logic behind the story very granular. Can see stratification from there through the metrics gathered through the game. Helps with improving the game.

Right now a single player - so personal decisions. May be moving to Multi Player.

SME did scenarios. The programming and logic from the Game designers

Detailed design - key elements
- Characters (appearance, behavior and roles)
+ Used surveys to design the characters and twek appearance and behavior
+ Once characters designed. Asked about who seek advice from, trust, seem to be a friend, would be in charge, seems to be a criminal. Further tweaking. Purely visual.
- Scenario overview (context and storyline)
+ Space station with alien species to remove sensitivity
+ Commercial setting to make relevant to adult employees
+ Role - you are the new hire
- User tasks, process flow and objectives
- Screen layouts/elements (interface design / usability)
+ Put user metrics for feedback at the bottom - how close you are to goals.
+ Assessment real-time as you perform an action.
+ Easy access to tasks. Easy to find tools.
- Simulation logic (variables, cause and effect, consequences and scoring)
+ Behaviors in the system based on research.
- Technical environment (browser, LMS, variable connectivity)

Phases of development
- Alpha test phase one (september goal)
- Beta test phase one
- Pilot test phase one
- Design and development phase 2
- Alpha test phase 2
- Beta test phase 2

(very very cool - also very technical and time-consuming. The design will be key!)

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