Dilbert characterA long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (actually it was Danville California, 2004), I was given the unique opportunity to consult with a very interesting client – Dilbert. Yes, the cartoon character. More specifically, my client was actually Dilbert creator, Scott Adams.

Adams envisioned a ‘Dilbert Ultimate House’ (or as he called it ‘DUH’) using 3D Interactivity to create a house befitting an “engi-nerd” like Dilbert.

During the course of his many visits, I came to learn the origin of the name Dilbert.

Dilbert Defined

Dilbert’s unusual name was suggested to Adams by his then-current boss. Said boss told Adams about a comic character called Dilbert that was used for training military pilots during WWII. THAT Dilbert showed pilots what not to do. A “Dilbert” was synonymous with a pilot who was being an idiot. And “Dilberts” were used in visual aids, in this case cartoons, to informally train pilots to avoid errors.

Visual Learning Is Valuable

Learning from the mistakes of others is valuable. In the O&M (Operations & Maintenance) and MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) Industry, a majority of training is focused on the ‘right way to do things’.

‘Experiential Learning,’ is optimal, of course. When the student can virtually re-enact the most commonly made errors and experience the consequences for themselves, the value of that experience is signficant. Needless to say, such training exercises in a real-world setting would result in damage to equipment and endanger personnel.

Enter 3D Interactive Virtual Training

There are four ways 3D Interactive Training provides the best of both worlds:

1. Shows them what to do by visually animating the correct procedure.
2. Lets them do it by visually simulating the correct procedure and requiring the user to drive the actions interactively.
3. Shows them what NOT to do by visually animating the incorrect commonly made error.
4. Lets them re-enact the error themselves by visually simulating the incorrect action and facing the relevant negative consequence as a result.

Experience-based Training In Action

A customer recently shared a scenario where experience-based training would be very helpful. On certain variants of an aircraft, the exhaust was moved vertically down to accommodate the revised requirements.

Technicians who had worked on the original version of the aircraft would often walk right into the exhaust air stream not knowing (or remembering) it was lowered for this variant, knocking them to the ground – or, some cases, off their feet. This was quite hazardous and a behavior that could have been altered by experiencing the repositioned exhaust and commonly made error in a virtually replicated scenario.

And it would have saved some Dilberts scraped knees!

Where do you think people could benefit from this kind of ‘Experiential’ training? We would love to hear your ideas. Contact us and let’s talk!