Sealund Wins 7th Brandon Hall Award

February 24th, 2014
Brandon Hall TSWG

Brandon Hall has selected Sealund to receive its prestigious 2013 Silver award for Best Advance in Gaming or Simulation Technology, our seventh Brandon Hall award since 2009.

This most recent award recognized our collaboration with the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) and Forensic Innovation Center (FIC) that lead to the INNOVATION in design, development and deployment of mission critical SENSITIVE SITE EXPLOITATION online training programs. The solutions comprised gamification techniques and virtual worlds with realistic simulations.

By simulating the real world after an incident, the Sealund team created training in multiple 3D environments, emulating actual tools used in the field to collect evidence to combat terrorism. The Sensitive Site Exploitation programs were designed to be SCORM compliant, while providing a safe virtual world environment in which users can experience time sensitive, hazardous situations and utilize evidence collection tools, exploitation procedures, search methods, and site documentation.

Similarly to the Sensitive Site Exploitation project, we have developed high-end simulation games for the Air Force, government agencies, and major corporations.

Brandon Hall TSWG

In addition, Sealund received a Brandon Hall award for Best Advance in 3D or Immersive Learning Technology for a custom training solution called “Identity Theft,” which we designed, developed, and deployed for USA Funds. Click the Identity Theft image to view a two-minute interactive demo of this award-winning training solution, or see us at SALT for a fully immersive demonstration.

We feel honored to receive such recognition for providing our clients with training solutions, including virtual worlds and serious games, that are cost effective, on schedule and within budget, and that meet their requirements for standard and mobile platforms by applying our proven methodologies and processes.

Previous Brandon Hall awards presented to Sealund include:

  1. The 2013 Silver award in Best Advance in Gaming or Simulation Technology, for our Sensitive Site Exploitation Gaming Simulations for Ideal and Tactical Environments produced for TSWG.
  2. The 2013 Bronze award in Learning for the Best Use of Games for Learning, for our Carnival Cruise Lines Social Game produced for Carnival Cruise Lines.
  3. The 2012 Gold award in Learning for the Best in Compliance Training, for our Role-Based IT Security Training produced for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
  4. The 2012 Silver award in Learning for the Best Use of Virtual Worlds for Learning, for our Role-Based IT Security Training produced for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
  5. The 2012 Bronze award in Technology for the Best Advance in Gaming or Simulation Technology, for our Web-based Flood Inspection Simulations produced for PaRR Inspections, a FEMA Contractor.
  6. The 2010 Silver award in Technology for the Best Advance in Technology for Game or Simulation Authoring, for our Let’s Meet Conference Room, A 3D Serious Games Engine, Single Player produced as a tool for commercial sale.
  7. The 2009 Bronze award in Technology for the Best Advance in 3-D or Immersive Learning Technology, for our Identity Theft Virtual Learning Environment - Alaris Financial Literacy eLearning produced for United Student Aid Funds.

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A Global Problem with Global Solutions: Water Wells with Training

January 24th, 2014


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Difficult to Comprehend

It’s difficult to comprehend that thousands of children are without clean water. Nearly 5,000 children die every day from water-related illness. that’s one nearly every 20 seconds. 780 million people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water-that’s more than double the entire population of the United States. Thankfully there are solutions!


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Children with no access to clean water



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Young boy drawing dirty water

A Well-ness Program in Uganda

We first became aware of the terrible problem of insufficient potable water that is challenging the health and lives of families and the schooling of children in rural Uganda through www.Water4.org.

Water4 is unique in that it puts the solution in the hands of the people using a business-based approach to provide sustainability in the world water crisis. Water4 exists to train teams of nationals in equipping them to drill their own water wells one community at a time eventually solving water problems globally.

The organization’s mission is to create in-country jobs to eradicate the world’s water crisis. Water4 targets specific regions and, through the help of in-country field partners, remains in that region until the water problem is resolved.

Water4 installs simple and accessible boreholes and shallow wells, employing local labor and using low cost materials. These simple solutions bring the wonderful gift of clean drinking water, helping entire communities to stay healthy, active, and sustained.

Clean Water Projects are Saving Lives


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Volunteers put finishing touch on Ibanda well

We were recently pleased to learn that the first four wells in Uganda are complete, and our contribution supported one of them. The mission struck water at a second site, a proposed primary school–the drilling has been completed. Volunteers faithfully came to work every day. Because the elementary school wells will eventually be fenced off, the organization has chosen two further drill sites in the village and those two wells are also complete. Therefore, nobody will have to fetch that filthy water any more.

We feel blessed to have been able to contribute to this project that supports families’ health and children’s ability to get their education.


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Children pumping clean water from a newly drilled well in Ibanda

The next two wells are scheduled to be drilled in Bwondha Uganda within the next 30 days at a current school site where there is no clean water. If you would like to support wells in Uganda, please click on: www.Water4.org

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Carnival Event at ASTD South Florida Chapter

November 15th, 2013
Training Industry Innovations

Carnival Cruise Lines Headquarters, Miami, Florida

The Event: Game Based Learning - To Play or Not to Play

Sealund partnered with Carnival Cruise Lines and Game On! Learning to present gamification and learning game demonstrations at the November 7, 2013, event sponsored by the South Florida chapter of ASTD at the Carnival Cruise Lines Conference Center in Doral, Florida.

Event attendees came away understanding the impact of serious games and social eLearning games, the key differentiators of gamification and its business fit and ROI impact, and gained practice in using current gaming technologies.

 

Training Industry Innovations

How will Gamification succeed in your organization?

Sealund’s introductory session kicked off the event, explaining gamification and its value proposition, essentially “what’s in it for you.”

Participants discovered the key terminology (gamification, simulation learning, and game-based learning), impact of “serious games” and “social” eLearning games, business fit and ROI impact of “gamification,” and key differentiators of “gamification” and PLAY.

 

Training Industry Innovations

Lee Clark, Carnival Cruise Lines wins Brandon Hall Award for Best Use of Games for Learning

Session: Carnival Cruise Lines Successful Deployment

Lee Clark, Manager, Training and Development for Worldwide Sales at Carnival Cruise Lines, demonstrated how its social games work within the Carnival LMS system and publish a Leader Board to illustrate points gained by its 80,000 Travel Agents worldwide.

To share the gaming experience, visit our Carnival Adventures demo.

 

Training Industry Innovations

Attendees learn how Gamification sells

Session: What Motivates Learners

Game On! Learning’s founder Bryan Austin presented a session titled “What Motivates Learners?” introducing Thomas Malone’s theory of intrinsically motivating instruction, including the concept of cognitive curiosity.

 

Training Industry Innovations

Interactivity Creator Tool of 15 Interactivities for inclusion in eLearning Solutions

The Event: Game Based Learning - To Play or Not to Play

Sealund offered its INTERACTIVITYCreator™ as a door prize. INTERACTIVITYCreator™ allows anyone to create fun and engaging interactivities with minimal effort - no programming or Flash knowledge required - so you can create professional-looking, highly stimulating activities that can easily be incorporated into your training content to achieve maximum retention. It offers the 15 activities pictured
at right.

 

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Training Industry Innovations

September 26th, 2013

Innovations for Effectiveness

The training industry applies every new discovery about how the learning brain operates to continuously improve training media. Such innovations engage learners ever more deeply for greater retention and increasingly effective real-life application of the information and skills learned. We’ve been implementing evolving innovations in the categories discussed below, applying the latest approaches and technologies to improve learning effectiveness.

 

Interactive Media Instruction - Individually Customized Curriculum via The LMS

The latest semantic adaptive e-learning systems can use multiple intelligent agents with qualities such as autonomy, pro-activity, reactivity, and co-operability to improve the quality of the teaching/learning process by individualizing the learning contents. The agents collect the learner information, select the relevant LMS contents, organize the course topics, and present the learning material to the learners through individual agents. Agent functions include: learner modeling, topic selection, learning object selection, presentation logic, and ontology (specification of the content concept).

 

Training Industry InnovationsSimulations

Of course, we’ve been using simulations and enhancing them with ever more lifelike avatars in many professional settings for years, from business situations to first responders to diverse technological skills. Now the Harlem-based Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) has announced it will open the nation’s first Virtual Training Center to utilize 3D holographic technology and other state-of-the-art equipment that will allow students to visualize, create and experience the human anatomy.

Training Industry InnovationsCase Studies with Avatar-Based Scenarios

Training professionals and every learner who has obtained knowledge through experiential case studies know how effective a learning tool case studies can be. Those requiring group interaction and critical thinking are the most effective, even when only text-based. A 2010 study verified that “Case studies can enhance students’ abilities to connect theory with practice. The case study approach integrated with critical reflection supports students in taking ownership of their learning while they learn how to think more critically and at higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.” So of course interactive e-learning realistic case study scenarios with avatar characters can make the experience more lifelike and even further enhance knowledge/skill transfer to practice. Avatars affect the learner’s motivational sense of social presence, including through nonverbal signals.

 

Training Industry InnovationsGames-Based Assessments

We have known for many years that game-based learning experiences boost immersion and therefore retention and application, and that game-based assessments guide learning and give a true evaluation of knowledge/skill application capability - University of Wisconsin Center for Education Research professor Richard Halverson calls it “capturing evidence of learning in play.” Learning games like SimCityEDU (by GlassLab, for STEM courses in schools) make each step of the game a subtle test of learning the necessary information and applying the related skills. Such tools are becoming increasingly common across the learning spectrum, from elementary school through on-the-job adult environments.

 

Training Industry InnovationsPC and Mobile Deployment

Web-based e-learning has long been available through PCs and more recently through smaller mobile devices such as tablets and cell phones. Although Google Glass is still in its early days, it offers the potential to deliver hands-free, just-in-time m-learning. It can display video, audio, text, and images, including exemplar video that walks you through each step of a task as you perform it, using MOOP (Massive Online Open Pedagogy) technology, already undergoing experimental testing in Finland.

 

Innovations for Efficiency

Here at Sealund & Associates, we’re helping our clients take care of their bottom line for delivering the most effective training through cost saving technologies for rapid delivery. Our rapid development technologies include:

 

  • Training Industry InnovationseLearning Architect™ enables you to quickly and easily create multiple eLearning courses and game-based assessments with 3D avatars. Its wizard-driven engine streamlines your development efforts and helps you easily and quickly deploy SCORM-conformant and 508 compliant courses and assessments through your learning management system.
  • Training Industry InnovationsSerious Games Engines™ help you create your own customized Serious Games to deploy online at your organization for training users or for communicating important content. This easy-to-use, wizard-like software tool creates SCORM-conformant games in which users can track progress and completion.
  • Training Industry InnovationsAvatar Animation Technology™ brings training applications to life. Rapid prototyping significantly reduces time to deployment and costs to deploy innovative training solutions, using our robust library of expressive, human appearing avatars designed with diversity in mind to better engage the target audience. The avatars have standardized setup and control options, prebuilt rigging for quick animations, and Mel Scripting that enables you to transfer animations from one avatar to another, saving production time. This technology enables embedding of avatars as movie clips for progressive streaming and integration into DirectX and OpenGL environments by simple conversions.
  • Training Industry InnovationsQuality Assurance Testing Methodology™ provides an extensive review process to ensure training accuracy and fulfillment of your requirements through five review levels: User, Technical, Instructional Design, Standards, and Project Management Review.
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SALT Interactive Learning Technologies Conference, August 2013

August 19th, 2013

The Sealund team attended SALT’s Interactive Learning Technologies Conference in Reston, Virginia, at the Hyatt Regency Reston Hotel on August 14-16. What an interesting three days!

 

The Event: Game Based Learning - To Play or Not to Play

Training Industry Innovations

The conference offered application descriptions for mobile computing, gaming and simulation for training and performance support, eLearning technologies, ROI and training technologies, virtual worlds, instructional systems design, and social media applications. In addition to the many informative presentations, the Federal Government Distance Learning Association (FGDLA) presented their annual individual and organizational awards at a reception on August 15th.

 

Training Industry Innovations

SALT’s conference management provided an innovative mobile app for conference attendees and presenters that let everyone communicate with other attendees and speakers, organize their own conference schedule, and review and comment on individual speakers and their presentations.

Training Industry Innovations

SALT Attendees

This app was very helpful in organizing meetings, responding to questions about the Sealund & Associates booth, and enjoying the appreciative comments on our presentation, a case study on gaming and simulations. Interesting notes circulated, including this one illustrating the balance of purpose and fun in the degree to which e-learning course incorporates games:

Training Industry Innovations

 

Our Presentation: Gaming and Simulations Examples that Hit Targets for Global Audiences

Training Industry Innovations

On August 15th, Mike O’Berry and I presented a case study featuring examples of projects that achieved our clients’ goals for global audiences.

Training Industry Innovations

We demonstrated a plan for successful deployments, including pilot testing.

 

Examples included games and simulations for:

Training Industry Innovations

Defense Acquisition University: “The Artemis Exploration, a Rates Calculation Game”

Training Industry Innovations

Leadership training Scenarios for the U.S. Air Force

Training Industry Innovations

Carnival Cruise Lines: “Cruise Rookie Baseball” games

Training Industry Innovations

PaRR Inspections for FEMA Disaster Recovery: Real Time Inspections developed in Unity Game Engine

Training Industry Innovations

U.S. Office of Personnel Management: Management Simulated Scenarios for Diversity Training

The success plan for these and many other deployments begins with attaining commitment and support from all stakeholders, and proceeds through needs analysis, audience analysis, development, pilot test and follow-up communications and modifications, to ultimate project completion, deployment, and results reporting. Session participants discovered how an effective process applies to all types of learning technology projects.

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Training and Simulation Innovations

June 11th, 2013

Simulations for Medical and Other First Responders


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Medical Training Simulations for Health Care

Readiness is all! How do medical personnel and other first responders maintain readiness? Practice! Simulations in 3D virtual reality environments enable these crucial personnel to safely learn new skills and maintain existing ones. From using the latest computer systems for control and support, to live field action, medical and other first responders and combat forces can maintain their readiness to perform at peak levels.

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IT Security Role-Based Training for Government Employees


Efficiency and Effectiveness from Our Avatar Animation TechnologyOur environment, avatar, and animation assets save considerable development time, cost, and resources for the most rapid delivery IT Security Role-Based Training for Government Employees of crucial learning environments and experiences.

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Games-based learning for Military IT Security


We’ve been using these performance-proven assets to develop requirements-targeted eLearning for civilian and military clients, and you can see demo videos of these courses our website. At the top of our home page, just click on each of the slideshow of images to view the video.
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3D Virtual Environments for Retail Training


What do we have in the 2D/3D graphics and animation warehouse? Too much to list in detail here, but to give you an idea, we have robust environments for the outdoors, home, office, medical, military, restaurant, retail, assets for each, and a broad range of customizable avatars for which our clients can specify gender, ethnicity, attire, and even subtleties of facial expression to convey emotion realistically.

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Avatar-Based Scenario Training for Global Audiences


In addition to saving time and dollars with our Avatar Animation Technology, our library of 10 Serious Games Engines offer technology tools that quickly deploy games-based learning on any concept. The Serious Games Engines are easy to use, no programming skills required, and can be used as stand alone games-based training, assessments, or integrated into eLearning courses. Our teams of instructional designers, animators and developers are capable of supporting the use of our Avatar Animation Technology, Serious Games Engines as well as designing, developing and deploying full custom training and simulation innovations to meet your specific needs.Sealund is certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business which enables us to serve government agencies as a sole-source provider, and offer to all our clients our growing spectrum of services and products.What did you find useful in the posting? What more would you like to know? Please share your comments.

The Importance of Processes

February 21st, 2013

As in all project management, instructional systems projects have three levels of structure: an underlying methodology; processes for design, development, evaluation and implementation; and standards for outputs at each phase. This posting focuses on processes which will support the ability of team members to be creative and innovative within guidelines.

Processes for each project phase

The processes for each phase of instructional systems projects support the methodology with detailed procedures, usually captured in flow charts with related forms and checklists. (See, for example, City of Chandler, AZ, pp. 5-14) These elements ensure standardization and quality, and produces related artifacts in addition to those of the deliverables themselves.

The project initiation process produces a high-level project description and documents the project’s justification, safety and security issues, organizations involved, cost and resource estimates, timeline, and list of approvals necessary. (See, for example, U.S. Department of Commerce, Section 7.)

The planning process follows initiation approval, beginning with rigorous requirements engineering and analysis. On the basis of the requirements (including constraints), planning develops a number of artifacts: the project scope; project level indicators; project management tools such as a scorecard for use with the formal project plan and project level indicators to assess the project’s risk and complexity; plans for resources, staffing, purchases, and acquisitions; detailed plans for managing risk, security, testing, training, change control (including scope creep prevention), quality, documentation of lessons learned, and approval for deliverables. (See, for example, U.S. Department of Commerce, Section 7.2.)

 

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Development processes include, broadly, steps for project team development, resource acquisition, security, quality assurance (building quality in with incremental testing rather than repairing deliverables after large deliverable testing), resource management, and communications. (See, for example, U.S. Department of Defense, Chapter 6.)

Monitoring and controlling processes strongly effect both development efficiency and final deliverable quality. They involve quality control, change control, independent verifications and validations as needed, performance reporting, risks and issues monitoring, implementing testing at the designated development and delivery points, final security review, implementing the training plan (if any), documenting lessons learned, and approvals required for deliverables. (See, for example, U.S. Department of Defense, Chapter 8.)

Project closing processes document verifies the customer’s acceptance of final deliverables, and may include a final budget accounting and final lessons learned. (See, for example, Virginia Tech University.)

Why detailed, documented processes are important

Processes support the standardization of many elements that ensure the highest quality deliverables. Documented processes establish clients’ expectations for performance at each phase of the project, and they ensure the company’s stability through the inevitable changes – from requirements and material resources to human resources. Processes for “building quality in” at all phases through frequent quality assurance reviews and/or tests and frequent lessons-learned sessions ensure continuous process, and hence product, improvement.

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RESOURCES – The following resources reflect the broadly accepted standards described above and may help you identify specific process elements that will help with your own process refinement.

City of Chandler, Arizona. Project Management Methodology Guidelines. http://www.chandleraz.gov/Content/PM000PMMethodologyGDE.pdf (Accessed 1/26/2013)

PMI (Project Management Institute). PMBOK Guide and Standards®. http://www.pmi.org/PMBOK-Guide-and-Standards.aspx (Accessed 1/26/2013)

Texas Tech University. IT Project Management Practices Guide. http://www.depts.ttu.edu/infotech/pmguide.pdf (Accessed 1/26/2013)

U.S. Department of Commerce. Scalable Project Management Methodology, (http://ocio.os.doc.gov/ITPolicyandPrograms/ Project_Management/PROD01_006871): “Project Management Process Groups,” http://ocio.os.doc.gov/ITPolicyandPrograms/ Project_Management/PROD01_006871#P456_30313, and “Project Planning Process Group,” http://ocio.os.doc.gov/ITPolicyandPrograms/ Project_Management/PROD01_006871#P489_35873 (Accessed 1/26/2013)

U.S. Department of Defense. Extension to: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), First Edition, Version 1.0, June 2003. Defense Acquisition University Press: Fort Belvoir, Virginia. http://www.dau.mil/pubs/gdbks/DoDExtPMBOK–June%2003.pdf (Accessed 1/26/2013)

Virginia Tech University. Project Management Process Guidelines. http://www.itplanning.org.vt.edu/pm/processtable.html (Accessed 1/26/2013)

Carnival Cruise Lines Presentation at SALT – August 2012

December 14th, 2012

As the official sponsor of the SALT Washington Interactive Learning Technologies Conference in Reston, Virginia, on August 15-17, Sealund we had the opportunity to co-present a session on learning games for sales professionals with our client, Carnival Cruise Lines.

Avatars on Board at the Sealund-Carnival Cruise Lines Presentation

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At the SALT Conference, Sealund and Carnival teamed to present “The Carnival Cruise Lines Globally Deploys Avatar-Based Learning Games to Travel Agents.” Carnival Cruise Lines and Sealund collaborated to engage Travel Agents’ eagerness to learn in a fun way to learn while competing with others, complete with incentives to come back, play more games, and win again and again! A whole new way of learning the “tools of the trade” has increased sales for booking cruises, and ensures that guests are booked on the Carnival ship that will meet their individual needs and exceed their wildest dreams for a FUN cruise. That kind of learning experience equates to more bookings, more happy customers, and more sales! Sealund’s designers and developers created the learning games using instructional methodologies and games-based technologies to ensure high user involvement, greater retention of learning concepts, and motivation for repeated play. Click http://www.sealund.com/demos/carnival/adventures/, or the image above to experience Sealund’s Carnival Cruise Lines learning games demo.

Avatar-Based Learning Games Presentation

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Lee Clark, Manager of Worldwide Training and Development for Carnival, and I showed participants how “games raise our level of expectation to the fantastic, and our biochemical reward system pays out when we build expectation towards a reward,” and how that process also increases retention because “during game-play, learners apply multiple learning modalities simultaneously – visual, auditory, kinesthetic.”

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Our presentation was well attended, and the participants discovered the (not so secret) secrets of success for game-based learning at Carnival Cruise Lines University, where “gaming as an intrinsic element of corporate culture and procedures can improve employee productivity and product/service quality.” As you see, all the hands in the air kept us busy!

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Based on these proven instructional principles, Carnival Cruise Lines is enjoying a greater return on investment (ROI) for its training dollars. The Cruise-Aders program has been developing highly motivated, well-educated agents who produce high quality products and deliver excellent customer service.

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The course engages the agents in learning games such as Cruise Rookie Baseball, Speed Booking with real-life examples, and Cruising with simulations of ship-life activities including casino and miniature golf. Agents are motivated to replay to accrue more “leaderboard fun points” and passport stamps for achievements, and to win contests and giveaways.

Think about it! What motivates you to keep coming back for more activities – solving puzzles, winning prizes, competition, earning rewards? All of the above?

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PaRR Presentation at SALT – August 2012

November 6th, 2012

As the official sponsor of the SALT Washington Interactive Learning Technologies Conference in Reston, Virginia, on August 15-17, Sealund we had the opportunity to co-present a session on real-time simulation courseware with our client, PaRR Inspections.

Real-time Simulations for PaRR Disaster Recovery Inspections

In a real-time simulation, the computer clock runs at the same rate as the actual physical system to replicate real-life activities, and that is crucial for property inspections after a disaster occurs. Think about it. What if it were your house that was damaged by a fire, earthquake, or hurricane? Wouldn’t you want a thoroughly trained and efficient inspector to give you a fast, accurate assessment of the damages so your insurance coverage could begin working for you? That’s what we’re helping PaRR Inspections provide.

If a real disaster looks like these…

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the inspector will have trained with a 3D simulation that starts out looking like these …

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so that he or she can accurately assess damages in all the simulated scenarios that reflect your property’s actual condition.

And the inspector will have practiced with the company’s actual online forms, like these:

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… so that in the end, you’re as satisfied as this:

Along with the PaRR team who participated in developing this project, session audience members discovered the importance of these factors in creating a course that reduces both training costs and time to mastery:

  • Including end users from the beginning of the project
  • Stating the objectives you really want to achieve because nothing is impossible
  • Setting deadlines and know when to say “no”
  • Finding a good teaming partner

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Sealund Sponsors SALT – August 2012

October 10th, 2012

Sealund was the Official Sponsor of the SALT Washington Interactive Learning Technologies Conference in Reston, Virginia, on August 15-17. The Sealund team had a great time interacting with conference attendees, and we’re pretty sure everybody learned while doing … after all, isn’t that what simulations and games for learning are all about?!

In addition to introducing new technologies at the Sealund booth, we made joint presentations with Carnival Cruise Lines and PaRR Inspections. You can click the logos below to find out more about the Carnival session on learning games for sales professionals and the PaRR session on real-time simulation training for disaster recovery inspectors.

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What’s Happening at the Sealund Booth: Cruising to New Learning Destinations with NO Disasters to InspectOur booth attracted a lot of attention! Visitors explored our innovative avatar-based learning, serious games, virtual learning environments, and all the related instructional methods. A good time was had by all, even without daiquiris and mai tais and their cute little umbrellas (although this was a hot, sunny August in Virginia)!

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Some booth visitors (left) enjoyed exploring avatar-based learning games and simulations, while others observed how our courseware is SCORM and Rule 508 compliant.

Below, our guests learned how real-time simulations are constructed and then operated by learners for the most true-to-life and time-sensitive simulations of their work environments.

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