Friday, 30 July 2021 17:05

How Could Gaming Change the Future of Collision Repair Training?

Written by
I-CAR's Jeff Peevy. I-CAR's Jeff Peevy.


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“Do we need to look differently at how we approach training and education?” asked Jeff Peevy, I-CAR’s vice president of technical products, programs and services, during the July 22 CIECAST webinar.

“The momentum of change today is so much greater than it ever has been. The way we’ve always thought and approached building training content, the collection of information and how we can simulate that into training and information has to be rethought, reinvented because of the speed at which it’s coming at us.”


Before launching into “Technology’s Impact on the Future of Training: Welcome to the Gamer Culture,” Peevy briefly described I-CAR’s role within the collision repair inter-industry, as well as its vision that “every person in the collision repair industry has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.”


Giving a shoutout to I-CAR’s instructional design team, Peevy emphasized I-CAR’s interest in collaborating with the industry: “Collaboration is in our DNA.”


Addressing technology’s impact on people as individuals, Peevy explored the impact of electronic-based games on youth during their formative years. Based on a study conducted by Cognitive Science Magazine, people retain 10% of what they read, 30% of what they hear and 70% of what they do.


“As trainers in this industry, if we don’t recognize this, we’re going to miss the boat,” Peevy said.


He pointed out the difference gaming creates in the younger generations’ mindsets: “When things go bad in a game, you hit the reset button; you can always start over. In the real world, Boomers are devastated by a layoff, but the gamer generations bounce back quicker---they simply reset and move on. They’re also used to relying on peer support, collaboration and coaching one another, rather than the Boomer generation, which was accustomed to adult coaches telling us what to do.”


Gamers are more comfortable making quick decisions and taking risks; things are always easy in the gaming world, but they’re ultimately designed for success. They enjoy being heroes, but it’s important to realize...

...games teach them to avoid bosses, so Peevy encouraged shop owners and managers to “be more of a strategy guide than a traditional boss.”


Additional ways gamers’ mindsets vary from older generations include being more flexible, being able to better move between tasks and being better at stepping outside their own perspective to see situations from someone else’s viewpoint.


The gamer generation also expects life to be fun.


“Attention is the scarcest resource in the world,” Peevy quoted from “The Attention Economy,” by Thomas Davenport and John Beck. “Everything must be more engaging and entertaining in order to keep gamers’ attention.”


Using data gathered by the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), which shows the average technician age is 41, Peevy noted traditional gamers range in age from under 21 up to 51. The introduction of games on smartphones enhanced exposure to older and younger people as well.


“Almost everyone, at some level, are playing games, and it may not have a direct influence on how we approach training, but it certainly should be something that we consider.”


According to Peevy, technology impacts training approaches by making new demands to meet users’ training and learning needs.


“Training needs to involve decisions, be entertaining and be fun. It must be relevant, engaging and challenging, though doable. It would be beneficial to build training that involves teams. It needs to allow students to...

...practice new knowledge and skills and also allow students to compare their performance to others.”


Peevy believes there are practical uses of extended reality, which refers to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables, including augmented and virtual reality. Through the use of headsets that create their own environment, virtual reality provides training in complete immersion.


“There are no distractions,” Peevy stated. “You’re in a world that’s been created ideal for learning. You can focus on whatever it is. As we continue to learn about the practical application of this, there are ways this will become very beneficial in the future.”


In augmented reality, the headset overlays digital objects in the real world.


“It allows you to see the real world and see things over it that you actually can do and get a more realistic experience, so you can gain knowledge, as well as improve your skills and understanding of the topic without being in a dangerous environment,” Peevy said.


Gamification is the application of gaming mechanics to non-gaming environments and is used to increase knowledge and skills for specific industry tasks.


“The objective needs to be to gain new knowledge,” said Peevy. “You have the opportunity to apply this knowledge in a game and then practice your skills. You practice for accuracy and speed, and then when you apply that in the real world, you can be much more prepared, when done correctly.”


Peevy mentioned the value of video-based and online training as a means of engaging collision repair professionals. He suggested online training allows for an environment that’s “more engaging and more relaxed. It’s less formal, and it’s more...

...relatable and relevant. The interactive branching approach assesses how much you know over a series of questions and then ultimately can move you from a mainstream course design into a more basic or challenging position; it can adjust itself. Wherever you start is not important. Our goal is to bring everybody up to the same level, at your pace.”


Looking at technology’s impact on training content in the collision repair industry, Peevy stressed, given the speed of technological advances, I-CAR feels “the responsibility to work with the industry and collaborate with the industry to gain knowledge as quickly as we can. When a new technology shows up on the horizon, it’s our responsibility to explore and understand it. It may never go mainstream, but if it does, we’ll do our best to prepare the industry. We won’t wait for that technology to come to us.”


I-CAR is focused on providing relevant training for the many ongoing changes impacting the collision repair industry today and in the future. Peevy looked at some of the programs related to ADAS, EVs and I-CAR’s goals of figuring out "how we can do this differently, and we’ll continue to do that. We’d love to collaborate with anyone in the industry with interest or knowledge to share. We have this massive challenge that we all have to face with speed and momentum of change.”


Peevy encouraged collision repair industry professionals interested in collaborating on these exciting initiatives to contact him at Jeff.Peevy@i-car.com.


A replay of the July CIECAST is available online.


The next CIECAST, scheduled for Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. EST, will feature Marc Friedman, chief strategy officer, and Shivani Govil, chief product officer, of CCC Intelligent Solutions, as they discuss “Activating AI and Network Connections.”


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