It leads to higher knowledge retention than conventional classroom training because of its immersive nature; it stimulates multiple senses, helping the brain record the activity with accuracy.
The latest report from Ofcom highlights that in an education setting, students remember approximately 30% of what they hear and 20% of what they see. Compare that to virtual environment technology, where students remembered 90% of the material they were taught.
Immersive learning comes with the huge added benefits of large scaleability and lower cost – making it incredibly appealing to the public sector, in particular. The investment in the tech itself is not as large as one might think and, once purchased, it can be adapted and rolled out across multiple geographic locations, making it more cost-effective than arranging in-person trainers.
What’s key for some sectors is the opportunity immersive tech presents for safe learning. For firefighters, for example, training requires extensive on-the-job hours and simulations. But immersive tech can accurately reflect the sights and sounds of countless work-based scenarios. And, the programming can be amended to allow for unexpected consequences of the user’s actions, creating and presenting a new problem or obstacle to overcome.
There are many options available to the user, from full head-sets to smart glasses. The user can be transported to a highly realistic and interactive training scenario. The immersive nature of the training means that it feels practically real, making it an excellent method of training for many industries.
We live in an increasingly digitised world, so the technology is already familiar to many of us in one form or another. This means it doesn’t require specialist knowledge to make use of the tech; anyone with a smartphone should be capable of managing the experience.
Covid-19 has completely changed the way learning and development is done. It’s not currently possible to host group training sessions, and it’s difficult to manoeuvre trainers around the country. But training must continue, with statutory requirements unchanged and the need to deliver an excellent service ever-present.
But Covid-19 has also ramped up the world’s reliance on technology – whether it’s video conferencing or virtual workspace sharing, many industries have had to become familiar with new technology and now use it day in, day out. Covid-19 has accelerated the rate of technological development and adaptation massively.
Tech is evolving all the time, but in this sphere specifically, some of the most exciting developments will come as product development seeks to encompass more senses into the existing immersive experience. Spatial sound technology is already available, but not widely used, while social touch technology offers incredibly exciting opportunities. Social touch includes that ‘sixth sense’ that someone or something is nearby.
More and more industries are adopting immersive tech into their L&D and there is much more innovation to come. The results speak for themselves as learners retain more while keeping costs down and allowing organisations to roll-out training programmes at pace.