Learning in 3D: Please Join My Reading Group

Learning in 3D
Learning in 3D

My company is piloting serious gaming in the learning domain using an immersive 3D environment based on the Unreal engine. We are on the cusp of developing a game around hazard recognition scenarios that are based on real life experiences. Because of this I am reading up on serious gaming and game design in general. After finishing the brilliant The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell (more about that book in a later post), I now want to tackle Learning in 3D, Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration by Kapp and O’Driscoll.

I have decided to start a reading group which will read the ten chapters of the book in ten weeks (there is a preview of the chapters here). We will use blogs, Twitter, Delicious and a weekly teleconference to communicate around the book.

So how will this work?

The book provides principles for architecting 3D learning experiences (including a maturity model for immersive technologies) and has lessons on and examples of implementations in enterprise situations. The goal of the reading group is to actively internalise these lessons and see how they can be applied in our own organisation(s).

As I want this reading group to impact the learning function in my own organisation I intend for about 50% of the participants to work for Shell and for the rest to come from my network outside of Shell. The minimum number of participants is 5 (doing two chapters each) and the maximum is 40 (four people per chapter and incidentally the limit of our teleconferencing solution). Everybody will have to acquire their own copy of the book. (I used the Book Depository to buy this book, as they have free shipping, note that I will earn a small referral fee if you click this link and then buy the book).

The reading group will have a weekly rhythm with a particular chapter of the book as the focus of attention. The following activities will happen every week:

  • One or more people will be assigned to write a summary of the chapter on their blog (if they don’t have a blog, they email me the summary and I will publish it on this blog). The summary ends with at least one multiple choice poll and a discussion question/proposition, both used as input for the teleconference.
  • All reading group participants will be tweeting questions and comments about the book (using a designated hashtag, see below).
  • Each participant will try to add at least one interesting link to Delicious (again with a hashtag) that relates to the chapter of that week.
  • At the end of the week (actually on a Monday), there is a teleconference where the summarisers for that week lead a discussion about the chapter, using the poll and the discussion question/proposition as input.

Hashtag and aggregation
All Delicious URLs, blogposts and Tweets should be tagged with the #Lin3DRG hash tag (stands for: Learning in 3D Reading Group). This will allow me to try some smart ways of aggregating and displaying the data using things like Yahoo Pipes or Downes’ gRSShopper. I promise to write another post on my aggregation strategies.

When and where?
It is going to be a virtual affair, co-creating on the web. We will start reading on April 19th, will have our first weekly 30 minute teleconference on Monday April 26th at 15:30 Amsterdam time and will close out on June 28th (so we will have 10 telcons on ten consecutive Mondays at the same time, it is not a problem if you miss one, we will record them).

Do  you want to join the reading group? Then please fill out a comment with your name, email address, blog URL (not required) and any comments or questions you might have at the bottom of this post. I will get back to you with your assigned chapter(s), some more information on the process and the call in details for the teleconference. You can put your name down until Monday April 19th.

I am really looking forward to it!

39 thoughts on “Learning in 3D: Please Join My Reading Group

  1. An excellent idea – please count me in!
    Made me smile to see that you are using the unreal engine as this was the initial platform I used back-in-the-day (2001) to build my immersive learning POC for NETg (I latterly moved to a java-based Wild Tangent client for its portability and lower footprint – WT have not really kept this updated over the years, alas, although its collision detection was much more fiddly to configure). Models were built in autocad/3DS and interchanged with the platforms as DXFs.
    The roots of my passion for this area stem from the research I did when creating virtual scenery for a BBC documentary on The Memory Palace (1993). This took me to Francis Yates and her Art of Memory ( http://bit.ly/artofmemory ). Since then, many strands have connected around associative learning processes as well as the capabilities of hard technologies to support them and it is my belief we now find ourselves on the brink of a potentially significant era for learning, information, knowledge & wisdom.

  2. I would like to join the group, and look forward to this format! Thanks for the invite!
    regards, Griet

  3. Very good idea to incorporate people from outside Shell in your reading group! Excellent use (IMHO) of social networking for knowledge sharing and / or informal learning while reading the book.
    And thanks for the invite! But I am going to pass here. My main reason being that I don’t know how to find the time to seriously work on the reading of and reflecting on the book.

  4. I’m in! It should be an interesting experience doing this “virtually” in the way you propose.

  5. Great idea. If this goes well, and I’m hopeful it will, we should do more. Thanks for making this happen.

  6. Excellent open collaborative study with a blended e-learning format! The book was already at the top of my reading list. Hans, I would be very glad to join you.

  7. Hi Hans,

    Your post makes me smile. I love this initiative! It is challenging, open, inspiring, simple and motivating!

    This time I’m not able to join because the Monday-sessions will not fit into my schedule (on that day my 3-yo son deserves my attention).

    Next time I would love to join your group.

    Enjoy this initiative!

    Marcel de Leeuwe

  8. Hans – Thanks for starting this and inviting me.
    Although this is a very busy time with lots of obligations…I couldn’t resist this great opportunity to learn with others, and to explore this interesting subject – so I’m in!!!
    (Do we get to slay monsters in 3D???) 🙂

    May I recommend someone else who is very relevant to the subject?

    Amir Elion

    1. Great that you will join, even though you are busy! Of course you can recommend someone. As long as we are not full (40 people) anybody can join…

  9. Hello, I would like to join. Why?
    1. a good chance to talk with interesting people

    2. a god chance to finally understand from first hand collaborative virtual processes (teach it in university but my students know more, of course)

    3. I am in the business of creating and planning physical “Future Centers” and “innovation centers”. What about a 3D one? So, an opportunity to learn about this field.
    Cheers and thanks Hans for starting it. (Amir told me about this)

  10. hi Hans,
    Thanks for the GREAT idea and the virtual invite. Amir get’s points for the lead !-)

    I think that we are in the middle of the Video Games and the Metaverse revolution. This revolution potential currently not fully understood, is waiting to unfolded.

    Dr. Hanan @VRider Gazit
    @MetaverSense CEO

    1. Reading Group Member – it’s where I want to be! Looking forward to the first Telecon.


  11. Hi Hans,

    somewhat behind on my social reminders, I found your fresh apporach on this topic. I ordered the book and am in to this. Until now a bit sceptical due to the didactical games I have seen so far. But I still beleive that the web becomes 3D.
    will yopu be attending the Gate (gaming research for training and development) conference from Marc Overmars on july 8th?

    1. Hello John,

      Glad you can join! I will check out Overmars’ conference to see whether I will attend. I have used his Gamemaker software in the past with my students in secondary education.



  12. Hello Hans,
    My collegue Sandra Beugel recommended your Reading Group, today. It’s a very interesting concept to share and create knowledge. Is it still possible to join? I saw it started today and I didn’t order the book yet.

    Good luck anyway!

    1. Hello Inge,

      You are more than welcome to join. Not having the book, will put you behind a little bit, but I will make sure to take that into account when I schedule things. Alternatively you could buy the ebook which is immediate. Expect some reading group related emails in the next couple of hours.

      Thanks, Hans

  13. Hans, I decided not to participate this time, ’cause I will be abroad some weeks and therefore I will miss too much. But I’m very interested in this concept, so next time please contact me! Best wishes, Inge

  14. Hans,

    As co-author of the book, I am very excited about the virtual book group and will be contributing ideas and concepts via Twitter whenever possible!


  15. Hans

    A bit late I kno, but am also reading the book at the moment. Let me know if appropriate to join in or interested in your thoughts so far if not ….



  16. Hi Hans, I’ve just purchased the book, so I’d love to join.


    1. Hey Sonya,

      We only have 3.5 weeks of the 10 weeks left, but I will make sure you will receive the email with instructions and will suggest a chapter for you to summarise.



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