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Using Immersive Technology to improve Learning

My love for Albert Einstein goes way beyond Physics. His approach to learning and education is transformational. He shared a real golden nugget when he said…

“Learning is experience. Everything else is just Information.”

That is the kind of experience that immersive technology is now bringing to the learning environment.

Immersive technology is a new category of technology that enables users to interact with digital content in a more realistic and interactive way.

The benefits of immersive technology include its ability to engage users more deeply in the content. It is also improving learning outcomes.

It paves the way to further improve education and skill development by harnessing the power of cutting-edge technology.

 

Understanding All About Immersive Learning…

There are many immersive learning tools available to educators and learners alike. Some of the most popular types of immersive learning tools include:

Virtual Reality (VR):

VR provides an immersive, realistic experience that can transport users to different environments or times. VR allows learners to navigate in an alternative digital world.

Augmented reality (AR): 

This is a type of interactive, computer-generated simulation that adds virtual elements to a user’s real-world environment. These virtual elements can be in the form of text, graphics, audio, or video. AR is often used in gaming applications and has been growing in popularity in recent years.

Mixed reality (MR): 

This is a type of AR that merges real-world and virtual elements into a single environment. This allows users to interact with both the real world and the virtual world at the same time.

It is often used for training purposes as it can create a more immersive learning experience.

Simulated Learning:

This is a type of learning that occurs by exposing individuals to stimulating materials or experiences. Studies show that it improves retention and understanding of information.

Simulated learning can be used in conjunction with AR and MR to create an even more immersive and effective learning experience.

 

Why Should Organizations Use Immersive Learning?

Thanks to the titillating Popups from Snapchat, amusing Instagram feeds, and buzzing WhatsApp messages…

Keeping an average learner engaged for a longer time is challenging!

Pockets buzzing, and distractions everywhere are fueling behavior that is borderline addictive…

The frantic pace of technological advancements means…

Upskilling and reskilling are no longer mere choices but imperative.

One of the most promising applications of immersive technology is in education and training.

It can provide realistic simulations that can be used to teach everything from basic skills to complex procedures. Here are five key benefits of learning with immersive technology:

  1. Increased engagement

Thanks to immersive technology, students no longer have to simply imagine being inside their favorite book or movie. With virtual reality headsets, they can step into the world of their favorite story and experience it firsthand.

When used in the classroom, VR can help to increase student engagement by making the material more relatable and interactive…

By bringing the material to life, immersive technology can help to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the subject matter. And that’s something that every teacher, instructor or facilitator can get behind.

Take a look at DHL…

DHL uses immersive learning to train its global workforce in the proper loading of shipments and has introduced interactive, gamified VR training for a variety of purposes.*

  1. Improved retention

The average person’s attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. So how can businesses and educators keep people engaged?

One solution is to use immersive technology…

A study by Accenture shows that learning through experience increases learning quality and improves retention by up to 75%. [1]

Immersive technology, such as VR, AR, and MR, has been shown to improve retention rates.

When people are fully immersed in an experience, they are more likely to remember what they have learned.

That is exactly why Airbus opted for VR training. They use a variety of immersive learning methods, such as cloud-based 3D cockpit simulations, for flight crew and maintenance training. *

Besides, immersive technology can make learning more engaging, which also helps with retention.

So, if you’re looking for a way to keep people’s attention, don’t forget about the power of immersion.

  1. Customized learning

When it comes to learning, one size does not fit all!

Some prefer a more hands-on approach. Others prefer to sit back and absorb information like a sponge.

While traditional education methods have their merits, they can also be quite limiting.

That’s where immersive technology comes in…

By using AR, VR, and other cutting-edge technologies, educators can create customized learning experiences. This can cater to the individual needs of each student.

As a result, trainees can learn at their own pace and in their own way. And that’s pretty powerful!

Hilton Immersion is the hospitality chain’s virtual program for training room service, housekeeping, and front desk personnel with an emphasis on fostering empathy in customer interactions. *

Augmented reality can provide real-time feedback on training assessments. This can help students to learn at their own pace.

Immersive learning approaches offer so many more chances for gathering meaningful data than a simple checkbox. Observing the real-time choices and instant feedback of learners in an immersive environment gives managers more insights into where their workers are at and how to guide them along their career paths. [2]

And with the increasing popularity of wearable technology…

Your workforce can now receive customized alerts and reminders based on their location and schedule.

The possibilities are endless. By harnessing the power of immersive technology…

Managers can create a personalized approach for every employee. This customized approach will meet the needs of every individual learner.

  1. Greater accessibility

The traditional classroom can be a tough environment for some learners. For those with sensory issues or learning disabilities, the barrage of sights and sounds can be overwhelming.

But what if there was a way to make the classroom more accessible for everyone?

Immersive technology is the answer…

By providing employees with a realistic, three-dimensional view of the lesson material. Immersive technology can help those who have trouble processing information in a traditional setting.

The thing is…

Immersive technology can help reduce the stress and anxiety associated with learning. Allowing learners to control their environment and move at their own pace, makes them relaxed and confident.

The largest retailer in the world knows how to use immersive learning to its advantage…

Walmart uses VR training to prepare employees for Black Friday. The technology is also used to check employee responses in customer-facing situations and assess those aspiring to middle-management positions. *

  1. Improve workplace training

While VR has been used for entertainment purposes for some time now, businesses are beginning to see the potential for using VR for workplace training.

It can provide a realistic and hands-on experience that is difficult to replicate with traditional methods like textbooks or lectures.

By placing employees in simulated environments…

Immersive technology can allow employees to practice new skills and procedures in a safe and controlled setting.

What’s more, immersive technology can also be used to create customized training programs that are specific to an organization’s needs…

As a result, organizations that adopt immersive technology can expect to see improved employee performance and reduced training costs.

BP and Maersk have developed a virtual environment for the training of oil rig workers. The Texas training facility features cyber-drilling simulators to provide a risk-free, hands-on experience.

It increases workers’ retention while allowing them a safe environment to perfect their skills.

  1. Improved collaborative skills

Immersive Learning can help people to develop their collaborative skills.

Working together in a virtual environment enables people to…

Learn how to communicate better, share ideas more effectively, and work together efficiently.

This can help people to be more successful when working on projects together in the future.

 

Fast-Tracking Leadership Development Via Immersive Learning 

With the ongoing economic crises, the need for a leader who has grit, market understanding, and wisdom is more than ever before.

The need for effective induction and leadership development programs, resulting in the successful and rapid development and integration of critical personnel, remains ever-present. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that even in the face of mounting market pressures, organizations continue to invest in developing their leaders (Mattioli, 2009). [3]

When it comes to leadership development, there’s no substitute for experience.

In a recession, organizations can’t afford to invest in long-term programs that take months or even years to deliver results…

So how can they get the same level of impact in a fraction of the time?

It has been suggested that learning and development should follow a 70-20-10 distribution, where efforts are most effective when 70 percent of learning comes from hands-on experience, 20 percent comes from learning from others (such as mentors and coaches), and 10 percent from more formal learning such as training and education. [4]

The problem

In a traditional work setting, it may take time for leaders to settle in their roles and engage in developmental experiences.

The solution lies in simulation-based learning…

Simulations can provide an immersive experience that mimics the challenges and complexities of the real world.

They also provide a safe space for learners to experiment.

In a deflating economy, there’s no room for error – so simulations can be incredibly valuable for leadership development…

By putting participants in real-world scenarios, simulations force them to think on their feet and make decisions under pressure.

This will develop the skills needed to lead effectively in a challenging economy.

 

VR for Vocational Training— Accenture Study

Accenture conducted an internal experiment on the task of toilet replacement to study the effectiveness of immersive learning.

Test participants were divided into two groups: one group watched an instructional video while the other group participated in interactive VR training. Then participants were asked to assemble a real toilet and were measured on overall accuracy and time to complete the task.

Leveraging the Cognitive 3D analytics platform, the VR group participants demonstrated on average 12% higher accuracy and 17% faster time to complete than instructional video participants.

Insights from the post-exercise survey, powered by Cognitive 3D analytics, also indicated higher perceived usefulness of training for the VR group. [5]

FBI also makes use of the VR platform Hogan’s Alley to train its agents in a simulated environment.

Hogan’s Alley is a simulated “hotbed of terrorist and criminal activity” built in conjunction with Hollywood set designers and populated by actors posing as “mobsters, drug dealers, and international terrorists.” [6]

 

Integrating Immersive Learning with Mentorship and Social Media…

When it comes to learning and development, there’s no substitute for a good old-fashioned apprenticeship.

But what if you’re not co-located with your mentor or coach? Or what if they’re not available when you need them?

Virtual technology can help bridge the gap. It provides a platform for mentorship and coaching relationships to thrive…

By using web-based platforms such as blogs and chat functions, emerging leaders can have easy access to coaches and mentors with quick response times.

What’s more…

Learners can save virtual exchanges and review them later. This will let them track their progress over time.

Through the Web, emerging leaders have the additional ability to select multiple mentors from different backgrounds, leadership levels, and locations to incorporate a diversity of knowledge and experience into their learning process. This integrated approach can be particularly valuable given the increased desire to use distributed learning methods to connect with geographically dispersed employees. [7]

Integrating immersive learning with mentorship and social media is already becoming an accepted practice in leading organizations.

The practice is beneficial because…

It can shorten development time and allows quick and easy access to guidance. It also provides more breadth, depth, and diversity to the learning experience.

 

Final Thoughts…

To stay competitive in the modern workplace, businesses need to offer their employees more immersive learning opportunities.

This will not only help them meet company goals but also provide a better experience that learners want—and be able to take with them as they move on jobs or start their careers elsewhere!

Organizations that invest in simulation-based learning will be well-positioned to develop the next generation of leaders – even in the midst of a recession.

 

Coaching 4 Companies – Your premier executive coaching service

We are a young, vibrant, and diverse executive leadership coaching group, with the operation registered in 2019, however, the formation was a 45-year career lifetime in preparation. During that period our founder Wayne Brown observed and worked with leaders of all levels in organizations across industries and cultures globally.

Based on that exposure, our company has intentionally set out to support those practicing the art and science of leadership – or as often referred to, “Executive Talent.” These are people who acknowledge that they are not experts. They are open to opportunities for continued growth and carry the desire for learning what is needed to become a success in today’s complexity and uncertainty.

To this end, we have purposely structured our company and engaged with associates in strategic global locations, so that we are able to provide the full suite of transformational executive leadership coaching, facilitation, and education support required.

 

References:

[1]. Accenture, Immersive Learning For The Future Workforce

[2]. Stephen Baer, Forbes Magazine, 27th April 2022, Immersive Learning For Employees Leads To Immersive Data For Decision Makers

[3 & 4]. Clark Backus, Kevin Keegan, Charles Gluck, and Lisa M. V. Gulick, International Journal of Training and Development, Accelerating leadership development via immersive learning and cognitive apprenticeship

[5]. Accenture, Immersive Learning For The Future Workforce

[6]. Joanne Willard, Big Think+, 26th May 2022, Immersive learning 101: Benefits and best practices

[7]. Clark Backus, Kevin Keegan, Charles Gluck, and Lisa M. V. Gulick, International Journal of Training and Development, Accelerating leadership development via immersive learning and cognitive apprenticeship

*Joanne Willard, Big Think+, 26th May 2022, Immersive learning 101: Benefits and best practices

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