- I've been rereading Part One of the book since I realized I wanted to think like Karl and Tony about the challenges and sensibilities involved with designing Virtual Immersive Environments (VIE's) for learning.
- I've begun imagining how collaborative training departments could function better in 3D environments as I became inspired by the examples of roles plays and operating practice included in Part Two.
- I've been incorporating ideas from Part Three for handling resistance to technology adoption as I'm developing a business model for giving college dropouts a second chance.
- My imagination got so energized by the futuristic forecasts in Part Four that I've been envisioning avatars entering models of the cognitive states of people stuck delivering productive learning in classroom environments and changing their simulated minds with hands-on practices that induce generative learning.
Effects like these on readers is largely the result of a book's structure. What gets included between the covers and how it's sequenced can greatly impact what the readers think about, bring up in conversations and take action to make changes. Poorly structured books get very little response and often effect the readers negatively. It's obvious to me that the structure of Learning in 3D has hit a home run out of the park and paid a visit to all four bases.
When any book is purely academic, it's usually extremely conceptual, abstract and analytic. Readers find it to be boring, preachy and easily forgotten. However, when the academic competencies are combined with the pragmatic approaches, more value gets offered to the readers. The combination of knowledge and praxis enhances both approaches. The academic component defines the problems with the status quo, what's missing in current approaches and likely consequences of sticking with business as usual. The practical component then provides solutions to those problems, paths out of the mess that's been created and methods to face those similar problems effectively.
Karl and Tony originally conceived of their book answering a long series of questions. They then combined their conceptual prowess to define some very intriguing problems within conventional training functions and useful methods for solving them such as:
- What will happen if the training department in organizations does nothing differently from their proven practices while the world around conventional training changes dramatically?
- What's missing in the sensibilities of training professionals to support their making full and effective use of VIE's after a career in "Flatland"?
Karl and Tony have included nine case studies that show us how varied the uses of VIE's can be and how captivating they can be when immersed in them. The design principles and archetypes come alive when put to use by different designers meeting diverse learning objectives.
When a book is filled with contributions from pioneers in the field, it usually reveals the state of the art to be highly compromised, under developed and plagued by obstacles. The readers find it discourages their motivation to personally advance the discipline. However, when the current field work gets combined with strategies for making changes and with visionary forecasts, the readers' passions get revived. The current state of the art gets contextualized with learning curves and change models. It becomes clear there is necessary groundwork prior to making faster progress in the field to fulfill its lofty dream.
Karl and Tony have asked some "change agents" in this field to answer some very insightful questions about overcoming resistance to Learning in 3D such as:
- What are the most compelling ways to make the case for 3D learning within the enterprise?
- What are the keys to success in moving from concept to execution to avoid falling in the chasm?
- What are the most important issues to consider when you move from successful pilot to executing at scale?
Following the diagram I've included, the book's structure can come full circle back to home plate. An analytical framework can serve as the means to appreciate the changes as the book's message takes effect. As the future becomes reality, Learning in 3D will enable us to value the sensibilities taking hold, the design principles getting applied, and the design archetypes finding new forms and effects on immersive experiences.
Thus the structure of the entire book is designed to effect readers in very valuable ways. It remains to be seen how deeply these insights, methods and strategies enter into the dialogue and praxis of training professionals around the world. Promoting their book "on steroids" suggests their message will get spread far and wide. Besides these 35 blog tour stops, the authors are presenting at conferences, speaking in podcasts, providing: a website, a Facebook page, and a wiki for case studies, posting on Twitter with the hashtag #lrn3d, and offering a sample immersive experience of the archetypes in Protosphere. With so much going in the book's favor, Learning in 3D should rock the entire world like it did mine!