Just back from Training 2010 where I heard Tony O’Driscoll speak and also bought the book! (Learning in 3D from Pfeiffer) Here’s my first thoughts. The book is definitely worth the investment – we all need to keep up on the affordances of new technology. An excellent story leads off Chapter 2 – I won’t be a spoiler – take a look. See Brian’s reply to my previous post for good ideas on how to use virtual worlds in training.
Some bones to pick. I think a technocentric approach to training can lead us down some unproductive paths – technology per se is never a solution. To their credit, the authors stress the need to use VW when it makes sense to promote organizational goals. Social collaboration is one of the sells – BUT we have very little evidence on collaboration and learning in 2D much less 3D. In Chapter 3 they contrast synchronous e-learning with a virtual 3D lesson. I think they set up a misleading dichotomy by contrasting a poorly implemented synchronous session with a (better designed?) VW session. I’d rather instead read about the strengths and drawbacks to VW. Most of us are beyond the “Which medium is best?” question. I also disagree regarding their recommendations for use of token economies to motivate learning in VW or any other medium. What say you?