We’ve come a long way from traditional classroom learning, wherein a teacher, lecturer, or trainer stands in front of the class. This teaching method is gradually becoming a thing of the past as the world becomes more and more technologically driven day after day.
In just a few years, we’ve seen learning trends pop up here and there. Some die down after a few years, but some stay for the long term. We’re pretty sure you’ve been hearing about hybrid and blended learning everywhere. There are currently a ton of subscription services that encourage lifelong learning. And recently, there’s an emerging learning trend that’s taking the world of education by storm—immersive learning.
Creating a participatory atmosphere in which instructors facilitate actively, immersive learning can be extremely advantageous to the development of a learner’s knowledge base and practical skills. This is especially useful for people with learning disabilities who rely on a more encouraging and engaging type of teaching style.
But is immersive learning just another buzzword or does it have a firm place in the future of learning? Let’s find out more about immersive learning, its tools, and its benefits below.
What is Immersive Learning?
Immersive learning makes use of cutting-edge technology like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) to help students learn more effectively by creating an online environment that motivates them to learn.
It creates a sense of presence and immersion in the learning process by simulating real-world circumstances. The learner’s interactions with virtual objects are designed to imitate those in the real world, allowing them to learn by experience in a secure setting where they can make (and learn from) mistakes without fear of real-world repercussions.
Immersive learning isn’t meant to be a replacement for traditional learning methods. Instead, it’s meant to be used in conjunction with classroom and workplace sessions to aid in the visualization of key concepts and points.
What Are The Types of Immersive Learning Tools?
The immersive learning tool you use will depend on the goal of your class or training session, as well as the resources you have available. The most common technologies and tools available at this moment in time are:
- Augmented Reality (AR): This modifies your real-world scene via digital simulations.
- Virtual Reality (VR): This is a completely simulated reality in which users can interact with a new environment through the use of a VR headset.
- Mixed Reality (MR): This uses a combination of VR and AR to create an environment where digital and actual items coexist and interact in real-time.
- Stimulated Learning: This is the use of projections and 3D images to visualize concepts and 2D diagrams. It’s typically less immersive than AR and VR.
Immersive learning can make use of all or just one of these tools. Using a variety of tools can assist you in diversifying your immersive learning sessions, making them more effective and engaging.
Why Is Immersive Learning So Important?
The reason why immersive learning is crucial to today’s students, as well as future generations, is its capability to improve the learning experience. Here are four compelling reasons why immersive technology is an excellent investment in education and workforce training.
1. Better Accessibility
Immersive learning is a fantastic way to make the classroom more accessible. In a traditional classroom setting, there is usually one speaker and a passive audience, with a few moments here and there of active involvement.
Learners are not made equal as there are a diverse set of learning styles. While the traditional classroom setting is beneficial to aural and written learners, kinesthetic learners (those who learn by doing) are frequently left behind in traditional learning contexts. Students can learn through experience when new technologies are used in higher education.
2. Increased Participation
Immersive learning is a great chance for educators to gamify eLearning as these technologies enable students to participate actively in their studies. For immersive learning to continue, the student is usually required to interact in the virtual environment or accomplish a task in VR.
Immersive learning provides students with a platform for collaboration, allowing them to meet in VR and experience a greater feeling of presence and connection. Learners can collaborate to explore virtual environments, practice team problem-solving, give feedback on presentations or group projects, and discuss their performance in virtual exercises.
3. Improved Workplace Training
Printed materials, presentations from experts, and information retention assessments are all used in traditional workplace learning. While all of these methods can be effective, they are passive.
Traditional teaching methods bombard a passive audience with a barrage of information. Immersive learning transforms a spectator into a participant. It’s an opportunity for employees to become more active participants in their education.
Immersive training can also be used to efficiently onboard new hires, train staff in otherwise high-risk scenarios, and improve employees’ soft skills to assist them in achieving their personal and professional goals.
More importantly, immersive learning can be simply scaled up to give consistent, high-quality training to people all across the world.
4. A Clearer Understanding Of Learning Analytics
The thing about data is that you need to be able to collect it to understand if your learning session was effective or not. In typical learning environments, this is obviously challenging. You’ll need to conduct a survey or feedback session whose results might not always accurately represent what’s going on in your classroom.
If immersive learning is part of a larger training course, you can collect data on how students are understanding your lesson and how they are progressing. This can assist you in making changes to your training in real-time to optimize the learning experience.
Some examples of data you can extract from VR or AR learning environments are the following:
- Quality: You can get real-time qualitative feedback from students or users and adjust your strategy accordingly in between sessions.
- Performance: Collecting test answers or completing a process can be used to assess task proficiency.
- Use: These are usually simple metrics like session length, number of sessions, and total hours spent on a task. This is useful for learning a skill that requires a specific amount of time.
- Engagement: VR technology can tell you when students or users are engaged and when they aren’t. This might assist you in identifying areas where your immersive learning method is lacking. This could also be a sign of their commitment to and interest in their school or work.
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Reaching New Horizons with Immersive Technology
When technology is so groundbreaking that it can change the way we learn in a more engaging way, we should take advantage of it. Immersive learning is an effective way for people of all ages and backgrounds to expand their knowledge and master new skills.
The best part about all of this is that these immersive technologies have moved from niche to mainstream as a result of technological advancements in recent years, such as the lower cost of VR gear and the increased functionality of mobile technology. This means that it’s more accessible to a wider audience.
With these advancements, educators can embrace and use the power of immersive learning. Learners, on the other hand, can learn without boundaries and reach their full potential in a more active way.
While immersive learning will not be able to replace traditional learning methods, it will definitely help to make learning more interesting and powerful for learners everywhere.