Improve your employee performance
Immersive learning can improve the performance of your employees. Focussed learning, condensed experiences, shared mental models…they all have impact. And so does storytelling: Long after facts and people have disappeared from memory, stories should remain. Virtual reality brings these stories to life.
Research shows the drawbacks distractions can have on the learning process, for example social media (Hollis and Was, 2016, Sana, Weston, and Cepeda, 2012, Dietz and Henrich, 2014, Gupta and Irwin, 2014). Your employees may be dedicating a fraction of their potential attention span if distractions interrupt their focus with e-learning.
Learner in the spotlight
Immersive learning means focused learning. When participants are immersed in a learning experience, they engage their full attention in the learning content. This is because the learner is positioned at the center of attention in an immersive learning environment where they are forced to participate in the learning content. This zero distraction environment delivers a high learning impact, which will stay with participants longer and resonate with them more deeply.
Everyone wants to be good at their job, but not everyone has been exposed to the right types of learning experiences to get there. And waiting for these experiences to take place in reality can take years. When experiential learning on the job does take place, it is typically unstructured, for instance in project teams. This lack of structure can lengthen the learning time required to preform at a high level.
Immersive learning can expose employees to the right types of learning experiences they need to perform at a high level. This means learners can access the right types of experiences needed to broaden their awareness, deepen their knowledge, sharpen their skill sets and promote their leadership capabilities. Studies show how this condensed experience, which is typically accrued over years of experience, improves decision making processes and overall performance (Sart, 2014; Harteis and Billett, 2013; Dane, Rockmann, Pratt, 2012; Furlan, Agnoli, Reyna, 2015).
Shared Mental Models
Scaled learning experiences allow learners to develop shared mental models around experiences, just like they do around descriptive learning. An example of this happens when multiple team members read the same document and come to a shared understanding about its contents. This allows them to make sound decisions as a team moving forward. Research already shows the advantages of shared mental models in collaborative and interdisciplinary business environments (Decuyper, S., Dochy, F., Van den Bossche, P., 2010; Razak, R.A, 2013; Rydén, P., Ringberg, T., Wilke, R., 2015; how this can promote leadership – Dionne, S., Sayama, H., Hao, C., Bush, G. J., 2010; and improve information utilization and performance – Hsu, J., Chang, J., Klein, G., Jiang, J., 2011; Johnson, T., Top, E., Yukselturk, E., 2011).
In other words, when your employees and teams are on the same page, they out-preform, make better decisions, process information and communicate more effectively, and promote natural leadership.
Stories Improve Learners’ memory retention
Unlike other learning approaches, immersive learning is uniquely well suited to encode learning elements in story form. This is because learners are immersed in our virtual environments with virtual characters, the same way they would learn in real environments with real people. This actually makes a lot of sense, as research shows people perceive reality in a story form (Novak, M., 1975). Learners are best able to process, understand, and remember new and different types of information, when they are presented in story form. In fact, simply making a fictional story based around different facts will improve a learner’s memory retention.
Stories also help to grab the learner’s interest and trigger their participation. This unique benefit means learners will stay engaged in the content for longer and seek meaning and value in their learning experiences. Story driven learning provides a lubrication for behavioural change, where behaviour change is a result of the learning, which is a product of the story.