Immersive Learning: The Future of Online Learning

immersive learning

Key Points:

  • Immersive learning allows students to engage themselves in interactive digital settings.
  • Learners can practice as many times as required, wherever, whenever, until they gain proficiency.
  • Immersive learning gives remote learners a chance to meet and role-play in a virtually built environment.
  • Users of this learning tool have a 100% retention rate and can yield a 75-90% knowledge retention rate.

One problem with eLearning is the presence of varied online distractions. Learners can be easily disturbed by social media, online games, blog posts, and other online content. In fact, an analysis reveals that the average session time for online learning is 15 minutes.

There is distraction everywhere, and it isn’t easy to keep learners engaged throughout a course. How to keep the attention of digital learners is now the challenge for eLearning creators. 

Therefore, it is essential to create an engaging online learning environment to keep learners focused on the course.  This blog post is about immersive learning as a great way to keep learners engaged, its pros and cons, and how it shapes the future of education.

What is immersive learning?

Immersive learning allows students to engage themselves in interactive digital settings. The program lets the learners get an actual “feel” for the environment using audio, images, and other materials that give full sensory experience.

This type of learning helps learners to navigate, experience, and explore real-life scenarios and contexts without leaving the comfort of their classroom or homes.

Another advantage of immersive learning is it can provide learners with an interactive experience both virtually and physically. It allows learners to work on realistic settings, which can improve retention and mastery of a specific skill or competency.

For instance, if your course is about culinary arts, the setup of your class should resemble a kitchen. By imitating the actual physical environment, the learners can easily recall concepts, which will help in their learning process.

Immersive learning is about enhancing the learning environment to keep the learners engaged and excited about learning.

3 Types of Immersive Learning

1. Virtual Reality

One feature of virtual reality is the 360 degrees environment. Learners put on headsets, and it allows them to interact with different objects in that digital environment.

2. Augmented Reality

This type of immersive learning adds virtual reality components on top of the real-world setting. Because learners don’t wear headsets, there’s no chance of VR sickness.

Manufacturing, architecture, and construction companies often use augmented reality. Medical institutions can also use AR to train surgeons. For example, you can put an AR jet engine in your office, and the employees can see it, interact with it, and take it apart.

3. Hyper-Reality

The basic idea is that the real world and the virtual world come together to create one engaging experience. Hyper-reality builds on the skills in virtual and augmented reality to boost collaboration among learners.

Advantages of Immersive eLearning to Employees

  • Learning by Doing

The highest level in Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy of cognitive learning is creating. Learners can put together all the concepts learned to create a new pattern or structure. Learners can achieve this by doing or practicing.

Giving learners a virtual reality helps in achieving mastery of concepts and skills. Learners can practice as many times as required, wherever, whenever, until they gain proficiency.

  • Safe Environment

Employees can learn without being afraid of getting into accidents while accomplishing training tasks.

  • Remote Cooperative Learning

Immersive learning gives remote learners a chance to meet and role-play in a virtually built environment. With that, they can also have discussions and exchange knowledge and information, which are more suitable for virtual worlds.

  • Self-paced Learning

Since learners can practice as many times as required to master a skill, learners can receive individualized and self-paced learning.

  • Engaging

With gamification[1], immersive learning can be fun and engaging for online learners. When employees are engaged and interested, it leads to better recall of skills and concepts.

Advantages of Immersive Learning to Companies

  • Cost-effective

Reskilling and upskilling can be costly since the company needs to provide equipment, tools, venue, transportation, and other training materials. If learners need to practice as many times as required to master the skill, it will incur more expenses.

Immersive digital learning can cut the company’s expenses by providing a course that employees can use repeatedly.

  • Safety Measure

Some pieces of training can be hazardous to employees. No company wants to incur additional expenses because of some accidents or unprecedented events during skills training.

That’s why immersive eLearning can be the company’s best option in providing a safe training environment for its employees.

It can be a preventive measure to reduce 350,000 deaths from workplace accidents.

Some uses of VR and AR in a company’s safety measures are:

  1. Food production
  2. Construction
  3. Industrial Manufacturing
  4. Retail Safety
  5. Productivity

Employees learning through immersive learning can learn faster with higher retention. As a result, they can be more productive in their job roles, which can boost the company’s overall performance.

Even if the technology needed for this type of learning is quite expensive, it’s still an excellent way for learners to attain learning goals in an engaging, practical, and safe setting. According to Touchstone Research, users of this learning tool have a 100% retention rate and can yield a 75-90% knowledge retention rate.

Immersive learning is a powerful strategy to improve learner’s retention and mastery of concepts or skills. There’s no doubt it will be the leader of future education.

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