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How Immersive Learning Engages Employees

“The greatest weapon against employee apathy is the training program,” writes eLearning Industry. But that’s easier said than done. It’s not always clear how to make a training program maximally engaging.

Immersive Learning Engages Employees

One solution is through immersive learning, which puts learners in situations in which they practice and polish their skills. These may be skills learned in the past, skills learned just before the immersive learning experience, or skills that will be learned during the experience. It all depends on the structure and context in which immersive learning is used.

Why is immersive learning so engaging?

“As human beings, we are automatically drawn to stories because we see ourselves reflected in them,” writes It’s the reason we love books, games, and movies. Immersive learning situations simply take that reflection one step further by offering learners a chance to actually, not just figuratively, insert themselves in the story. They’re not just on a journey with a decision-maker; they are the decision-makers.

We’ve found that using immersive learning through scenarios is useful in just about any intersection, from onboarding to compliance to sales enablement. While the exact strategy we use varies between intersections, industries, and brands, the general principles remain the same for all immersive learning situations.

What makes a learning experience immersive?

There are varying levels of immersive learning experiences, from text scenarios to virtual reality simulations. The technology doesn’t create the immersion—the realistic details do, whether they’re written out, visually supplied, or provided through some other medium.

For example, Lifesaver, an immersive learning experience featuring videos with several decision points, has brought learners to actual tears. The first responders’ fear and stress are portrayed so convincingly that it’s easy to forget it’s not real. On the other end of the spectrum, a text-based branching scenario like this one by Cathy Moore hooks learners with relatable dilemmas (trying to communicate in a foreign language) and probable outcomes (getting in trouble with the police since you can’t understand what they want from you).

Is immersive learning expensive?

Immersive learning doesn’t have to cost a lot. Again, this kind of immersion can happen regardless of technology level, so you don’t necessarily have to spend money on a pricey platform. The bigger expense in developing an immersive experience is getting a solid content development team.

That may sound surprising, but again, immersion is created by a good story with realistic details. It’s worth spending a little extra in that arena to get things just right. Otherwise, your learning experience may turn out to be less immersive than you’d hoped.

In conclusion

To combat employee disengagement, use training. To make training maximally engaging, use immersive learning. The return on investment is worth the effort.