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What is Immersive Learning and Why It’s Crucial for Learning & Development in 2023

Immersive learning revolutionises traditional e-learning by accelerating the learning cycle



Note: This post accompanies our Ahead of the Learning Curve webinar series, which begins on 26th of January 2023. For more information, check out the event page here.


Introduction

Immersive learning is becoming increasingly important in the world of training and talent development. It is an innovative approach that combines interactive experiences with engaging content to create an environment conducive to meaningful knowledge sharing and retention. Immersive learning can be used for both on-site and online instruction, allowing organisations to provide a holistic view of their core skills, principles, and culture - as well as give employees more flexibility when it comes to acquiring competencies.


With organisations beginning to prioritise employee development in a post-pandemic world, let's explore what makes this type of learning unique — as well as how it might help businesses looking to stay competitive in today's ever-evolving market.


The Challenge for Learning & Development in 2023

From the NHS staff shortage crisis, to the number of STEM teachers in training at a “catastrophic” level, learning and development is in serious need of innovation. An independent report commissioned by The King’s Fund and Engage Britain found that lengthy durations and high costs of training health and social care staff (3 years and more than £60k for a nurse, and 15 years and £500k for a consultant) do not take into account the fact that by the time trainees will enter the workforce, “the world will look very different”.


Professional development at corporate level has also seen a shift away from passive e-learning towards innovation - think microcredentials, MOOCs (massive open online courses), machine learning, AI-powered learning and more. In anticipation of broader market needs, Deloitte has announced Project 120, a $1.4B investment that looks to reshape “the future of learning and development” by revamping the ways in which tech and leadership upskilling is delivered.


Indeed, with the onset of the pandemic, learning and development innovation has become even more paramount in staying competitive. L&D professionals have had to adapt quickly to this ‘new normal’, one in which learner autonomy and accelerated learning cycles are not mutually exclusive. But innovation in this field cannot rely on short-lived solutions—rather, it requires steady transformation of existing skill sets and an openness towards embracing new technologies.


From recruitment to retention, it is essential for L&D professionals to attract, develop and retain quality talent who can help their organisation gain competitive edge with smarter, more efficient processes. Additionally, with the increasing demand for upskilling via microcredentials and MOOCs, learning and development for both trainers and trainees has never been more pressing. Given the right resources and guidance, learning and development specialists can play an important role in creating this competitive advantage through innovative approaches, including leveraging modern technology and utilising sophisticated immersive learning design techniques, such as mixed reality simulations. As a result, the learning and development field has seen the use of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) rapidly becoming an integral part of it, under the umbrella term of Immersive Learning.



What is immersive learning?

Immersive learning has the potential to revolutionise how we think about workplace training and education. By incorporating virtual and augmented reality, simulations, game-based experiences, and other interactive elements, immersive learning allows learners to access a more engaging and realistic environment that translates into greater knowledge retention and increased learner confidence compared to traditional teaching methods. Not only does this type of learning offer learners a rich and dynamic experience, but it also presents them with instant feedback and can be accessed on demand anytime, anywhere.


Meanwhile, benefits of immersive learning for L&D professionals include increased learner engagement, ability to customise content based on learner and organisational needs, accelerated learning cycles, higher learner satisfaction, and access to real-time data insights to measure learner progress and talent growth. Most importantly, for organisations looking to train people quickly, immersive learning can facilitate the development of technical and soft skills simultaneously, speeding up the overall learning process.


Lastly, virtual training environments can help create equitable conditions for everyone in terms of access to resources and opportunities, allowing learner growth potential to be fully unleashed. All things considered, immersive learning is highly beneficial for both trainees and trainers alike.


The VR Hive Approach

Learning isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Our approach to immersive learning design means learners can quickly grow skills through meaningful interaction rather than passive e-learning activities. Our innovative LX design is at the core of our learning experiences, providing real-time feedback to learners that fosters confidence and prepares them for making effective decisions in real world environments.


For over a year we have been pioneering these ideas by creating engaging content ranging from 2D mobile simulations up to 6 Degrees of Freedom worlds - allowing L&D professionals to deliver inspiring learning experiences that accelerate learning cycles and embrace meaningful growth. We make it easy by seamlessly integrating with your existing systems, so that data collected is right at your fingertips in one convenient dashboard.


We are proud to offer affordable solutions tailored to a range of needs, from higher education institutions to corporate environments. Whether you need one immersive experience or several scalable learning instances, The VR Hive has a solution for you. With insights and capability data for growth and assessment, our award-winning design offers an immersive learning journey that is truly second-to-none.


Read more about our case studies here.




Conclusion

Immersive learning truly redefines the learner experience and it’s easy to see why this approach is gaining so much interest from L&D professionals. From cost-savings to improved workflows, immersive learning design can pave the way for organisations to provide engaging experiences at scale. At The VR Hive, learning isn't just about consuming information - it's an interactive experience that helps you and your students retain knowledge faster.


As part of our Ahead of the Learning Curve campaign, we are running a series of webinars to help L&D professionals and/or anyone interested in learning more about immersive learning techniques, data-driven approaches to learning design and more.


The first webinar will feature our Director of Immersive Learning, Dr David Griffiths, who will inspire L&D teams by covering 5 tips for powering up learning and talent development in 2023. The webinar will provide insights into how organisations can take learning and development initiatives to the next level.


The webinar will take place on 26th of January. Register for free on Eventbrite.




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