Ahead in Experiential Learning
Immersive learning is based on the latest learning methods and neuroscience insights. It is the most progressive form of experiential learning.
Linking Feeling with Learning Content
Earlier we spoke about holistic learning as an all-embracing learning strategy. But holistic learning is also a process of learning that takes place on an individual level. When experiential learning is immersive and viewed from a first person perspective, it triggers a different part of the brain, the limbic brain. The limbic brain is in charge of feelings and emotions. When learning is felt and processed in the limbic brain, it gives the learner a chance to link meaning and emotion with learning content (Sinek, 2015).
This feeling-based approach to learning compliments descriptive methods, which utilize the neocortex. In other words, by using both the limbic brain and the neocortex, learners can expect to improve their memory and understanding of learning material (Bhatti, Larimo, Coudounaris, 2015; Nicholas, Van Bergen, and Richards, 2014 and Efstratia, 2014).
Research shows the advantages of scenario planning and simulation and how these activities can improve performance of real world tasks post training (Pearson, Ball, and Smith, 2014; Meissner, Wulf, 2012; Beidas, Cross, and Dorsey, 2014, Bowman, MacKay, Masrani, McKiernan, 2012). By preparing for important future scenarios in the present, employees can get ahead of reality, and increases the likelihood of success.
It is impossible to plan for every scenario. But being mentally ready is not just about preparing for successes, it is about learning how to avoid failures. And avoiding failures can also be framed as a success. Worst case scenarios may not be desirable experiences in the real world. However, learning from failures can serve a key learning function in the safety of virtual environments. This means employees could lower risk and liability by being mentally ready for failures, such as accidents, equipment malfunctions, or poor decision-making.
Feel what it is like…
We try to create learning experiences, which harmonize employee behaviour with an organization’s values, objectives and goals. Just imagine what would be possible if immersive learning worked. If we could let you feel what it is like to be fit, you would probably run straight to the fitness centre, and if you could feel what it is like to be exploited in a sweatshop in Asia you might start buying fair trade clothes. Immersive learning is as much about the feeling surrounding the learning material, as it is the material itself. So, how do you want your audience to feel and what do you want them to learn?
Controlled Learning Experiences
Experiential learning has to be custom made. Learning styles vary widely between individuals; not everyone learns at the same rate, not everyone retains the same amount of information, not everyone performs at the same level. So why should experiential learning be a one size fits all approach. Often times, the ability to slow down or accelerate the flow of content, can lead to better understanding of the material. This level of control empowers learners to process experiential learning at a rate suitable to their learning needs. Real world experiential learning simply cannot offer this level of control to learners.
Step by step
Controlled experiential learning means employees can isolate specific learning elements, achieve mastery with them, then integrate additional, more complex learning elements. This is a step by step approach. In this way experiential learning environments can be designed and measured around measurable standards of performance, something real world experiential learning simply cannot provide.