The Benefits of Immersive Learning
- What is Immersive Learning?
- What industries have adopted immersive learning?
- The benefits of immersive learning
- What are the disadvantages of immersive learning?
- What’s the difference between AR/VR/MR?
- Immersive learning multimedia tools
- Simulations for immersive learning
- Metaverse and the metaverse
- In summary
What is Immersive Learning?
- interactive and experiential learning experiences
- using technology such as virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR)
- In a simulated environment that closely mirrors the real world.
The goal of an immersive learning course is to create an engaging and effective learning experience that goes beyond traditional classroom or online learning.
For example, an immersive learning course in healthcare might cover modules such as anatomy and physiology, patient care, clinical procedures, and emergency response. Similarly, an immersive learning course in business might cover modules such as marketing, sales, finance, and entrepreneurship.
Immersive learning courses have become increasingly popular as they provide learners with an engaging and effective learning experience. The improved learning experience allows them to acquire knowledge and skills through simulations and interactive immersive activities rather than just reading or listening to course material. This typically improves knowledge retention.
What industries have adopted immersive learning?
Immersive learning can be beneficial for a wide range of jobs and industries where practical, hands-on experience is required.
- Healthcare: Immersive learning is being used to train healthcare professionals on various procedures, such as surgical procedures, medical diagnoses, and patient care.
- Nurses can practice patient care procedures in a simulated environment.
- Surgeons can use immersive learning to simulate surgical procedures and allow them to practice different techniques and scenarios in a safe and controlled environment.
- Aviation: Immersive learning is being used to train pilots, flight attendants, and ground personnel on various procedures and safety protocols.
- Flight attendants can practice safety drills and passenger interactions.
- Pilots use VR-based simulations for flight procedures, emergency scenarios, and new aircraft models, providing a risk-free environment to learn and practice.
- Retail: Immersive learning is used to train employees on customer service, sales, and product knowledge.
- Sales representatives: Immersive learning can help sales representatives to practice their communication skills, develop effective sales techniques, and understand their customers’ needs and preferences.
- Emergency responders: Immersive learning can help emergency responders to practice their skills in simulated emergency scenarios, enabling them to make quick and effective decisions under pressure.
- Military personnel: Immersive learning can be used to simulate combat scenarios, allowing military personnel to practice and refine their tactics and strategies in a safe and controlled environment.
- Customer service representatives: Immersive learning can help customer service representatives to develop their problem-solving skills and improve their ability to handle customer complaints and inquiries.
- Automotive technicians: Immersive learning can be used to simulate different mechanical and electrical faults in vehicles, allowing technicians to practice their troubleshooting and repair skills.
- Engineers: Immersive learning can help engineers to visualize complex 3D models and simulate different scenarios to test and optimize designs before they are physically built.
- Manufacturing: Immersive learning is being used to train employees on manufacturing processes, equipment, and safety procedures. For example, employees can practice operating heavy machinery and handling hazardous materials in a VR environment, reducing the risk of accidents.
- Education: Immersive learning is being used to create engaging and interactive educational experiences for students and teachers. For example, VR and AR can be used to simulate historical events or scientific experiments, allowing students to visualize and understand complex concepts more easily.
- Hospitality: Immersive learning is used to train employees in customer service, housekeeping, and food and beverage service. For example, employees can practice interacting with guests and handling service requests in a simulated hotel or restaurant environment.
Immersive learning can benefit anyone who needs to learn and practice complex skills and scenarios in a safe and controlled environment, leading to increased productivity, safety, and customer satisfaction.
The benefits of immersive learning
There are several benefits that immersive learning courses can offer learners compared to traditional learning methods.
- Retention of information:
Immersive learning courses are designed to provide learners with a more engaging and interactive learning experience compared to the traditional classroom. By using virtual environments, simulations, and gamification, learners can explore and interact with concepts in a more hands-on and engaging way, which can increase motivation to learn and retain knowledge and skills they acquire.
- Harnessing emotion in learning
Harnessing emotion in learning is an important aspect of effective education, as emotions can have a powerful impact on the learning process. Paraphrasing Maya Angelou, facts don’t change people’s minds, feelings do. The more emotional connection we have to an event, the more likely we are to remember the event. The same applies to learning. When cognitive activity is connected with emotion this will influence mental processes, including attention, perception, problem-solving, memory, and reasoning, which are all linked to the learning process (Tyng et al., 2017).
- Learning by doing
This one is pretty straightforward. We remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 70% of what we discuss with others and 80% of what we personally experience.
Immersive learning courses are typically on-demand, meaning they can be accessed from
Immersive learning courses often use real-world scenarios and simulations to help learners apply their knowledge in practical situations. This can increase the relevance and applicability of the learning, preparing learners for real-world challenges and improving their employability.
What are the disadvantages of immersive learning?
While immersive learning courses can offer several benefits for learners, there are also some considerations such as:
- Technology issues
Immersive learning courses require learners to have access to technology such as applications, headsets, and stable internet connections. Technical issues such as hardware or software malfunctions, connectivity problems, or compatibility issues can disrupt the learning experience and cause frustration for learners.
Immersive learning courses can be highly engaging, but this can also lead to overstimulation for some learners. The use of virtual environments and simulations can be overwhelming for some learners, especially those who are sensitive to sensory input or have conditions such as ADHD or anxiety.
- Lack of individual attention
While immersive learning courses can offer personalized learning experiences, they may not be as effective as traditional methods of learning for learners who require more individualized attention or support. Immersive learning courses may not be able to provide the same level and depth of feedback and guidance as one-on-one tutoring.
Immersive learning courses can be expensive to develop and implement, which can limit their accessibility to learners who cannot afford them. Additionally, learners may need to purchase or rent specialized equipment, such as virtual reality headsets, which can be costly.
It is important to consider these risks when deciding on the most appropriate learning method for a particular learner or educational setting.
What’s the difference between AR/VR/MR?
From the perspective of someone doing an immersive learning course, the difference between augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) lies in the type of experience and the level of immersion they provide. Here’s a brief explanation of each:
Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is an experience that overlays digital content in the real world. This can be done using a smartphone or tablet camera or wearable AR devices such as AR smart glasses. In an immersive learning course, AR can be used to provide additional information or interactive elements to real-world objects or scenarios.
For example, an AR app can be used to overlay instructional content onto a machine or tool, providing learners with additional guidance and support.
Virtual Reality (VR)
VR is an experience that immerses the user in a completely virtual environment, typically using a headset or other display device. In an immersive learning course, VR can create simulated environments that closely mirror real-world scenarios, allowing learners to practice skills and procedures in a safe and controlled environment.
For example, a VR simulation can be used to simulate emergency scenarios in healthcare or practice flight simulations for pilots.
Learn more about VR in training and eLearning: Here
Mixed Reality (MR)
MR is an experience that blends digital content and the real world, allowing the user to interact with both simultaneously. MR is similar to AR, but it provides a more immersive and interactive experience.
In an immersive learning course, MR can be used to provide learners with interactive and hands-on experiences that combine real-world objects and digital content.
For example, MR can be used to simulate an automotive repair scenario where learners can interact with a virtual car engine while using real-world tools.
Overall, the main difference between AR, VR, and MR in an immersive learning course is the level of immersion and the type of experience they provide.
- AR provides an overlay of digital content onto the real world,
- VR immerses the user in a completely virtual environment
- MR blends digital content and the real world for an interactive and hands-on experience.
Immersive learning multimedia tools
If you are studying an immersive learning course, you can expect to learn about a variety of multimedia tools and applications.
AR tools and applications:
Unity: A popular game engine that can be used to create AR applications and experiences.
Vuforia: A software platform that allows developers to create AR experiences that can recognize and track images and objects.
ARKit and ARCore: AR development kits for iOS and Android devices that enable developers to create AR apps and experiences for mobile devices.
VR tools and applications:
Shapes XR: Allows you to quickly create fully immersive scenes and populate them with props in a cost-effective manner.
Unity: A game engine that can be used to create VR applications and experiences for a variety of platforms, including desktop and mobile devices.
Unreal Engine: Another game engine that can be used to create high-quality VR experiences for desktop and console platforms.
Oculus Rift, Meta Quest 2 and HTC Vive: Popular VR headsets that provide an immersive and interactive VR experience.
Microsoft HoloLens: A mixed-reality headset that allows users to interact with holograms and real-world objects simultaneously.
Unity and Vuforia: These tools can also be used to create MR experiences that blend digital content and the real world.
Magic Leap: A mixed reality platform that allows developers to create immersive and interactive MR experiences.
You may also learn about best practices for creating engaging and effective immersive learning experiences, such as user interface design, user experience design, and game design principles.
Simulations for immersive learning
For someone studying immersive learning, simulations are virtual or digital representations of real-world scenarios, processes, or systems. Simulations are designed to replicate the real-world experience as closely as possible, allowing learners to practice and apply their skills in a safe and controlled environment.
The most effective method of creating this experience is 360 video.
360-degree video is a type of video that captures footage from all directions. 360 videos are filmed using a special camera that records footage from multiple angles simultaneously. This footage is then stitched together using software to create a seamless, immersive video that viewers can interact with using a VR headset or a computer or mobile device.
When watching a 360 video, viewers can move their device or their head to look around the scene, providing a more interactive and immersive experience than traditional videos. 360 videos can be used for a variety of purposes, including virtual tours of real estate properties, showcasing travel destinations, creating immersive experiences for gaming or training, and more. They are becoming increasingly popular in the immersive learning space and are a very effective method of creating simulations.
Examples of simulated learning experiences
Simulations also provide learners with realistic and engaging experiences that enable them to practice and develop their skills in a hands-on, interactive way.
- In healthcare training, simulations can be used to provide medical students with a chance to practice surgical procedures, without the risk of harming real patients.
- In technical training, simulations can be used to teach students how to operate machinery or tools, without the risk of damaging equipment or putting themselves in danger.
- in manufacturing or supply chain management, learners can be given the opportunity to explore and interact with complex systems or processes. Interacting with these systems in a simulated environment allows them to gain a deep understanding of how they work and how different variables can affect the outcomes.
In an immersive learning course, simulations can take many forms, such as virtual reality simulations, interactive videos, and computer-based simulations. They can also be designed to be customized to the learner’s skill level, allowing them to progress from simple to more complex scenarios as they gain proficiency.
Here are some real-world examples of how simulations provide learners with realistic and engaging experiences.
In aviation training, flight simulation can be used to provide pilots with realistic scenarios to practice their skills and decision-making abilities. Using virtual reality headsets and flight simulation software, pilots can practice various flight scenarios, such as takeoff, landing, and emergency situations. The simulations can be designed to be as close to real-world experience as possible, allowing pilots to develop their skills in a safe and controlled environment.
Medical simulations can be used to provide medical students with a chance to practice various procedures and scenarios in a controlled environment. Using virtual or augmented reality technology, learners can practice surgical procedures, diagnose illnesses, and interact with patients in a realistic and engaging way. The multimedia used in this example could include 3D models, animations, and interactive virtual patients.
In business training, simulations can be used to teach learners about real-world business scenarios, such as managing a company, negotiating deals, and making financial decisions. Using computer-based simulations, learners can interact with virtual business environments and make decisions that affect the outcome of the simulation. The multimedia used in this example could include interactive charts and graphs, simulations of financial data, and virtual environments.
In military training, simulations can be used to train soldiers in various scenarios and environments, such as combat situations, vehicle operation, and communication protocols. Using computer-based simulations and VR technology, soldiers can practice their skills and decision-making abilities in a safe and controlled environment. The multimedia used in this example could include virtual environments, interactive weapons systems, and simulated communication tools.
In engineering training, simulations can be used to teach learners about complex systems and processes, such as manufacturing, logistics, and supply chain management. Using computer-based simulations, learners can explore and interact with virtual systems, testing different scenarios and analyzing the outcomes. The multimedia used in this example could include 3D models of equipment and machinery, interactive interfaces, and virtual environments.
The multimedia used in simulations in immersive learning courses can include a wide range of tools and applications, such as VR headsets, AR overlays, 3D models, interactive interfaces, and virtual environments. The key is to use the right multimedia to provide a realistic and engaging experience that enables learners to practice and develop their skills in a hands-on, interactive way.
Metaverse and the metaverse
The metaverse is a term used to describe a virtual universe that encompasses all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet. It is a network of interconnected virtual worlds and environments that allow users to interact with each other and with digital content in real-time.
The are many different types of metaverses by many different companies (Roblox, for example is an extremely popular metaverse based gaming platform).
These are not to be confused with the Metaverse, by Meta. The Facebook parent has it’s own metaverse, called Metaverse.
The term “metaverse” originated in the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash. It is a portmanteau of “meta” and “universe”.
Learn more about the metaverse: here
Learning in the metaverse
In a learning ecosystem, the metaverse offers a unique opportunity for immersive and experiential learning. It provides a platform for learners to engage with educational content in a virtual environment, allowing them to explore and interact with concepts in a more meaningful and interactive way. This can enhance the learning experience and provide a more personalized approach to learning.
In a metaverse, learners can take part in virtual field trips, participate in collaborative problem-solving activities, and interact with virtual objects and simulations. These experiences can be particularly valuable for learners who have difficulty with traditional learning methods or who benefit from a more visual and interactive approach.
In addition, the metaverse can also provide opportunities for social learning and collaboration. Learners can connect with peers from around the world, collaborate on projects, and share knowledge and experiences in a virtual environment.
Overall, the metaverse offers a unique and exciting opportunity for learning and has the potential to transform the way we approach education in the future.
An immersive learning course can be beneficial for someone who designs training courses in several ways.
Enhanced understanding of immersive learning
Taking an immersive learning course can provide a first-hand experience of immersive learning methods and technologies. This can help course designers to understand the benefits and limitations of immersive learning and how it can be applied in their own course design.
Improved design skills
Immersive learning courses are often designed with a focus on engagement, interactivity, and personalization, which can help course designers to improve their design skills. By exploring different approaches to course design, such as gamification, simulations, and virtual environments, course designers can expand their toolkits and develop more effective training courses.
Immersive learning courses can inspire creativity and innovative thinking in course designers. By experiencing immersive learning methods from the learner’s perspective, course designers can gain new insights into how to engage and motivate learners, leading to more effective course designs.
A better understanding of learner needs
Immersive learning courses can help course designers to better understand the needs of their learners. By experiencing immersive learning methods firsthand, course designers can gain insight into how learners interact with different types of content and activities, which can inform their course design decisions.
Immersive learning courses often involve collaboration and teamwork, which can help course designers to develop their collaboration skills. By working with other learners and instructors in a virtual environment, course designers can gain new perspectives and ideas that can inform their course design decisions.
Overall, taking a course in immersive learning can provide course designers with new insights, skills, and approaches that can improve the effectiveness of their training courses.