Blurring the real and virtual world used to be a concept people were frightened of (the cult classic movie trilogy The Matrix even made people question what world we were in) but now it’s slowly becoming part and parcel of modern day life with gaming and the arts embracing the virtual reality (VR) immersive technology creates. To be entertained is no longer sitting back and watching, you are the creator of your own entertainment, no longer a bystander but an active participant. With control being placed back into the individual to explore with all of their senses a new world never once before available or created; what’s holding back employers from doing the same to train their employees and put them in the driving seat when it comes to their workplace education?
Research shows that people learn best when something grabs their attention, draws them in, encourages them to participate actively, and enables them to repeat something until it sticks, without the need of a physical presence to administer the training. New technologies make it feasible to provide a consistent, high quality learning experience to any number of people, even if they are widely dispersed – and VR has the potential to be an additional and very powerful tool in the box.
The aviation, military and health sectors have been pioneers in using VR to train and upskill their workforce through real-life situations that don’t offer any real-life consequences when mistakes occur. This type of L&D allows employees to safely immerse themselves in their work environment and to learn without fear of making human error – which everyone does. Through this type of workplace training employees could become more confident, able, productive and efficient in their role than those who trained on-the-job in reality and employers are beginning to find this out.
Immersive training at work allows your employees to take charge of their own development, finding out what could happen if they administered a certain action or decided to try something new to solve a problem. It provides your workforce with the freedom and autonomy to explore, learn and develop in a safe and controlled environment that is so similar to their workplace reality they know how to work, behave and act in the physical world with confidence. To educate yourself in a world with no consequence would not only bring a sense of achievement to completing a challenge independently but would also breed a culture of risk-taking and being innovative in order to see whether ‘it’s the way we do it around here’ is really the best way after all. Are you ready to enter a new world and to transform your workforce through immersive learning?
To find out how you can practically apply immersive learning to your L&D strategy, download a copy of The Open University’s report Trends in Learning 2018.