The effectiveness of hands-on learning isn’t new, and many organisations throughout the world have been making the move towards more participative learning for their staff.
But what if we could challenge the world of learning even more? Shouldn’t we be striving for something that goes beyond participation and moving towards action? After all, Edison did not invent the lightbulb when trying to come up with a better candle…
With learning it’s a bit the same: most of us are improving it. So today I want to challenge you to revolutionise learning, starting with the notion of fully immersive learning, which for me corresponds to a different version of learning.
What is fully immersive?
By fully immersive learning I mean a learning environment, real or virtual, that is very close or similar to reality, with the same conditions and ‘look and feel’, where people work towards a goal, making decisions, taking actions and interacting with the context and experiencing the consequences of those actions.
Fully immersive means creating a setting that recreates an identical situation in which we need to perform to actively learn and practice skills, processes and actions through experimentation.
This keeps people highly engaged in practicing behaviours and using thought processes that we can easily transfer from a simulated environment to real situation.
Among many others, here are the 5 key reasons why you should consider fully immersive learning environments in your learning strategy:
1- It accelerates learning
Fully immersive learning combines the added value of ‘learning and by doing’ and repetitive learning which reinforces memory retention. It combines problem-solving and decision-making in practice and life-like scenarios.
2- Eliminates the gap between theory and practice
By creating fully immersive experiences focusing on the learning by doing your learning becomes practice-oriented and allows you to acquire a depth of experience and know-how you cannot get any other way.
3- Boosts engagement levels
The participant is immediately involved in their problem solving activity, focusing solely on the task at hand and with no other distraction. All of the senses are being used for learning.
With fully immersive learning experiences are interactive (the participants need to engage with the system) and not passive (just listening or watching what is going on) they are fully engaged in learning.
4- Is as realistic as real life
Fully immersive learning uses real life scenarios which portray different tasks and challenges that a participant will need to complete in the workplace. By being as realistic as real life people can experiment freely, make mistakes and learn from them. And just like real life you need to make decisions, which will lead to consequences, and then learn and adjust from them.
5- Delivers exceptional return on investment
Because people learn from doing and practice, they learn faster and retain what they have learned longer and better in their memory, leading to a higher application of learning onto the workplace as the learning is directly linked to the practice, and hence a better performance. This means that in comparison to traditional learning, fully immersive learning is much more powerful in supporting long-lasting learning and application.