A Buyer’s Guide to Immersive Learning Technology

Immersive learning increases. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, one in three small and medium businesses in the United States as supposed he planned to pilot a virtual reality worker training program. Despite the unprecedented economic winds of 2020, spending on virtual and augmented reality training systems exceeded $ 1.3 billion in 2020 – almost half of all commercial investments in immersive technology.

The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated the trend, as the demand for skilled labor has not diminished, but the limitations of the pandemic in face-to-face contact threw a key into the talent channel. However, as adoption has grown, so has confusion.

As a growing number of entrepreneurs, schools, and government agencies realize the potential of immersive learning, many are looking for the rules of the road to successfully adopt them.

Below are three key advantages that prospective buyers, namely key learning leaders and other learning leaders, should look for when navigating the complex and growing market for immersive technology.

Efficiency in productivity and workforce results. The use of RV for learning and professional development is based on the introduction of the the first motion flight simulator called “pilot manufacturer” in 1929 – Only 26 years after the Wright brothers’ first flight to Kitty Hawk. Flight simulators became a mainstay of military and commercial flight instruction, over time incorporating innovations in VR and AR, artificial intelligence, and motion simulations.

Ironically, the cost of building a military-level flight simulator is still about the same as the actual aircraft, according to the Department of Defense. Thus, military flight instructors are becoming the latest advances led by civilian industry that have made technology more affordable, agile and lightweight, helping new pilots gain unexpected “invaluable time” while they wait. turn to get a flight instructor and a simulator. .

As costs decrease and technology becomes more agile and mobile, it is important to look for these more efficient approaches to immersive learning technology. In general, immersive technology doesn’t have to be as expensive and heavy as the experience you’re simulating. Immersive technology should facilitate the achievement of training goals, providing efficient and cost-effective ways for people to acquire the skills they need for the jobs they desire.

A recent PwC study revealed that employees can, on average, complete RV programs up to four times faster than face-to-face learning. In fact, when Honeywell began using a mix of RA and VR tools to train its industrial workers, the conglomerate reduced training time. by more than 60 percent.

Meanwhile, UPS uses VR to train their drivers in safety and navigation before getting behind the wheel of a delivery truck. In past years, the company’s training program was limited to large brick and mortar facilities and stationary. The VR program, however, is delivered through kiosks housed in a 53-foot mobile trailer, allowing UPS to easily facilitate its learning concepts to drivers across the country.

Efficiency in employee learning and development. Of course, efficiency matters very little if the tools are also not effective in improving learning outcomes.

For example, Honeywell not only reduced training time with its RV program, but also improved employee skills retention by 100 percent. After that H&R Block started using VR to help its employees acquire important customer service skills, the company saw a 50% decrease in dissatisfied customers and a nearly 10% reduction in customer handling times among workers who participated in the program.

It is crucial to understand what kind of results a program with immersive technology aims to achieve and then look for tools with a proven track record related to those goals. Not all immersive technologies are built the same way, the tools are not only of variable quality, but are designed to meet different types of needs.

When Hyundai Power Transformers, for example, decided to partner with the state-owned Alabama workforce development agency to use virtual reality to train more workers in the manufacture of power transformers it needed immersive learning tools built specifically around OSHA standards to lift heavy equipment.

Now the program allows workers to safely acquire first-hand experience (and, most importantly, certifications) needed to operate machinery and equipment up to 400 tons. With so many tremendously different uses for immersive technology, the “why” becomes very important to ensure that any tool meets the needs of learners.

Entrepreneurs should research companies that not only offer tools designed around their needs, but are open and transparent about results. The best immersive learning companies will support their rhetoric with case studies and other resources demonstrating its effectiveness.

Moving towards equity goals. Some do VR brand as a “Technology-rich white boy.” But the truth is that immersive learning tools are being used more and more in a way that promotes equity. But well done, they can help advance equity by removing many of the barriers to the system of awareness, accessibility, and representation that too often reinforce the bias in the workplace.

They can help build career pathways from the classroom, addressing the pain points faced by both employers who cannot find job-ready candidates and potential employees who are unaware of existing opportunities. Through immersive learning technology, workers can experience and explore jobs they had never imagined for themselves, and then get the learning they need to break new career paths.

In addition, students and workers with autism spectrum disorder also benefit greatly from the use of virtual reality to learn. critical career skills, including how to do it job interview and communicate and interact with co-workers and clients.

And there are also major companies like Amazon, Google and Target using virtual reality to improve their training efforts on diversity. The idea – and it’s one supported by research – is to increase empathy by allowing users to experience interpersonal interactions that they could not even imagine before.

These examples only scratch the surface of how immersive technologies can make experiments more accessible to people which might otherwise be excluded due to geographical distance, socioeconomic status, or disability.

Potential users of immersive technology should follow the guidelines of the JFF education and nonprofit workforce, which in their immersive learning technology scan, carefully revised more than 300 immersive learning technology companies and included diversity of impacts, impacts on equity to identify the most promising solutions of this fast-growing market.

Immersive technology is evolving rapidly, enabling companies and institutions to provide a wide range of learning and training opportunities to employees. With these three benefits in mind, learning leaders can help ensure that the investment they make in immersive learning tools for their organizations will be smart.

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