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Immersive Learning: Implementation, Best Practices, Benefits

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19th Jan, 2024
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    Immersive Learning: Implementation, Best Practices, Benefits

    Ever since its inception, immersive learning has been revolutionizing many aspects of our lives. From education to employee training - acquiring knowledge with immersive learning technologies is easy and exciting. It infuses advanced learning theory, spatial design, and data science to boost engagement and make the training experience much more effective and quicker. So, from website development courses to Software Developer course duration, individuals can get significant help developing and honing their skills faster than ever, all owing to immersive learning technologies.

    Immersive Learning History & Theory

    Immersive learning technologies are a revolutionized version of everyone’s childhood, even your ancestors.’ Childhood is the phase of life where everyone first witnesses “immersive experiences” in games involving pretending or simulating a scenario. At the core, this is what physically acted immersive experiences are.  

    Making the concept more concrete, the invention of the machine called Sensorama in 1962 presented the world with an immersive, multi-sensory technology that stimulated all senses. This machine utilized a chair, a stereoscopic 3D screen and fans to mimic atmospheric conditions and give people a sense of being present somewhere, sitting in a chair.

    The technique witnessed notable growth in the years after that. In 1992, the development picked up when two robot controls were invented for accomplishing manual tasks in a remote environment. These technologies ultimately came to be known as “Virtual Reality.”

    Some years later, a newer development added to virtual reality technology by incorporating more interactive elements, visual graphics, and features of the physical world. This new development was “Augmented Technology or AR.” To introduce this development to a larger audience, AR was integrated into a traditional theatre production called “Dancing in Cyberspace,” written and produced by Julie Martin. Within the next few years, developers began experimenting with AR in 1999. However, it was in 2009 that the industry actually began to flourish. The technology began to take form and be applied in different learning environments.

    Immersive training is now among the most used techniques helping learners make the best of their learning programs more effectively than ever. The practice allows learners to acquire knowledge in a safe environment as it stimulates real-life scenarios through immersive education.

    What is Immersive Learning?

    Immersive learning is a training/learning methodology that allows learners to interact with real-world scenarios digitally (or virtually) in an engaging learning environment. Etymologically, this type of learning stimulates real-world interactions, projecting emotions and actions on the learner.

    This technique is interesting because it inspires complete focus in learners while allowing them to get personalized assistance in their learning process. To give you a better insight into personalized, immersive learning experiences, KnowledgeHut’s PRISM is a great state-of-the-art platform. PRISM offers a virtual learning companion for immersive online learning. In such immersive environments, you get

    • Live instructor-led video lectures.
    • Self-paced interactive courses.
    • On-demand videos.
    • Smart flashcards.
    • Recall quizzes.
    • Real-world capstone projects.

    Guided exercises on Cloud Labs, an immersive learning lab.

    It can be used for learning and practicing new skills comparatively faster. Engaging experience is the essence of this immersive learning method, and thus it gives a hand in maximizing the learning sessions.

    Four Pillars of Immersive Learning

    The four pillars of immersive learning focus on providing a more realistic experience to learners. They can be helpful for trainers in maximizing the immersive training environment. Now that you know immersive training meaning, here’s how immersive learning brings the training experience to fruition:

    1. Engagement

    Instead of passively consuming knowledge, immersive learning requires students to engage in the learning process actively. This can support learners' motivation and engagement throughout the learning process. As soon as you put on the headset, it will take you to a virtual world where you can see and hear everything identical to the real world. When you enter the scenario, your interaction with it will allow you to learn and improve your technical and soft skills.

    2. Effectiveness

    One of the most critical checkpoints that immersive technologies in education cross off every learner’s list, is efficiency and effectiveness. The technique successfully follows the ‘learning by doing’ philosophy. This approach allows learners to gain valuable experience, practice their skills and develop confidence in their abilities. Immersive learning also provides learners with immediate feedback on their performance, which can help to motivate them and encourage them to continue learning and improving.

    3. Performance Tracking

    Immersive learning can be used to measure performance in various ways. For example, it can be used to measure the effectiveness of a particular training program's effectiveness by tracking participants' progress and assessing their understanding. Additionally, immersive learning can be used to analyze the results of a simulation or project-based activities by assessing learners’ abilities to complete tasks or solve problems in the virtual environment.

    4. Spatial Designs

    Immersive learning spatial designs involve creating physical spaces that allow students to learn through interactive, hands-on experiences. This immersive VR education limited environment encourages students to move and explore, enabling them to make connections between what they are learning and the physical space. These spatial designs can be used to simulate real-world environments, allowing students to develop skills in areas such as problem-solving, collaboration, and creativity. Some immersive learning examples of spatial designs include maker spaces, virtual reality labs, and interactive art galleries.

    What is an Immersive Learning Environment?

    An immersive learning environment is an educational setting where students interact in a virtual or simulated world. It is designed to replicate real-world scenarios and tasks through interactive experiences. An immersive learning environment can teach various subjects, from foreign languages to science and engineering.

    Virtual reality (VR) simulations, augmented reality (AR) encounters, and live tutor-based learning are examples of immersive learning environments. Using gestures, voice instructions, and other input types, these technologies enable learners to interact with the learning environment more naturally and intuitively.

    What are Immersive Activities?

    Immersive learning activities are the ones that aim to create an engaging and interactive learning experience where the learner can participate in the activity and explore a given topic or concept in depth. This could include virtual reality simulations, live educational games, and field trips. Immersive learning activities seek to create an environment where students acquire hands-on knowledge. These activities are highly beneficial as they bring out exciting ways to apply all theoretically learnt skills in the real world (or a digitally set up real world).

    To top it all, this learning methodology unlocks career advancement and better earning opportunities, primarily due to technological advancements facilitating remote learning or working, digital twins, etc. So, if you are seeking a hands-on, live-assisted course in any domain, whether a lucrative Full-stack Developer pay after placement or the one for a web designer role, learning with immersive experiences may help you speed up your reach towards the goal.

    Types of Immersive Learning Technology

    Now that you know what is immersive learning, let us move on to dig deeper into the types of immersive learning technologies. Below is a brief overview of the same:

    1. Guided Hands-on Exercises

    Guided hands-on activities are an excellent technique to give students an immersive learning experience. With this method of instruction, students are given a chance to actively participate in the learning process by carrying out tasks or activities associated with the information being taught while receiving direction and feedback from a teacher or instructional materials.
    Hands-on exercises can:

    • Promote active student/trainee participation.
    • Increase real-world relevance of theoretical concepts.
    • Provide learners with immediate feedback on their performance, motivating and encouraging them to continue learning and improving.

    2. Live Tutoring

    Live tutoring is a form of immersive learning, offering students a specialized, interactive learning environment that mimics a one-on-one conversation with a subject matter expert.

    Live tutoring allows students to ask questions, explain concepts, and receive immediate feedback on their performance while receiving direction, comments, and support from a tutor or instructor. Given that it gives students a feeling of accountability and personalization as well as the chance to receive individualized instruction and feedback, this kind of learning experience has the potential to be very engaging and effective.

    3. Virtual Reality (VR) 

    VR is an immersive learning environment that makes you enter a world of infinite possibilities without any physical boundary. This technology lets you explore the undiscovered digital world, like the ocean's depths, or soar through the clouds via VR-compatible devices like Meta Quest, HTC Vive, etc. It gives the impression that you genuinely reside in a convincing virtual reality (one in which you are partly or fully immersed).
    What makes VR different? Here are a few reasons why VR is a commendable advancement.

    • It is “believable.” You will feel like you’re in it.
    • It is interactive. The VR world and its elements move as you move.
    • It is explorable. You can keep exploring the VR world (linearly) as it is practically boundary-less.

    4. Augmented Reality (AR)

    Moving on to the next immersive technology, augmented reality or AR, combines the actual and virtual worlds, generating an immersive experience that makes it challenging to differentiate between them. Using AR, you can engage with virtual creatures that appear to live in the real world, discover secret worlds, and give everyday objects life. Think about waving your smartphone in front of you and watching a virtual dinosaur follow you or being able to see furniture in your house before you purchase it.

    AR is commendable because:

    • It offers endless possibilities for innovation and creativity.
    • It allows companies to create interactive and engaging marketing campaigns that capture the attention of their audience.
    • This technology is widely used in creating an immersive study environment for learning and training experiences.

    5. Mixed Reality (MR)

    Consider creating a new product and watching it materialize before you, or envision discovering a new place and having digital information appear to improve your experience. This is how mixed reality works. In the MR world, the lines between what you perceive as real and unreal are blurred, leaving room for new avenues of creativity and innovation. It is a hybrid of AR and VR technologies enabling you to interact with digital things in the real world.

    6. Gamification

    Gamification is one of the newest immersive technologies in education. An immersive learning system turns education from a dry and uninteresting experience into entertaining and engaging. Imagine interacting with characters who take you on a trip through various learning ideas while you explore new realms, solve complex challenges, and communicate with them. In the gamification world, education is transformed into an adventure. Through this, you can complete tasks to earn rewards, monitor your progress and evaluate your accomplishments, and even compete with others to see who can grasp a subject more quickly.

    7. Simulations

    Simulation is another immersive learning technology that has the potential to transform you to new realms and provide experiences that could experiment with different scenarios. From training pilots to fly planes, to building virtual cities, to creating lifelike characters in video games, simulation technology has become an essential tool for industries and entertainment alike.

    8. 360-degree Video

    Imagine how it would feel to immerse yourself in a virtual world where you aren't simply watching a film but experiencing it. This is the power of the game-changing innovation known as 360-degree immersive video technology, which has transformed media consumption.

    With 360-degree immersive video, you may glance up, down, left, and right while viewing a scene, giving the impression that you're in the heart of the action. You'll feel like you're there in person, taking it all in spectacular high definition, whether you're watching a concert, a sporting event, or a nature documentary.

    Advantages & Disadvantages of Immersive Learning

    You must be well aware of what different types immersive learning technologies offer. Let us look at some collective advantages and disadvantaged of them:

    Advantages

    1. Better Engagement

    The attention and interest of students are easily captured and retained by these highly engaging and interactive learning experiences produced by immersive learning. This way, information is retained more effectively when learners actively interact with the learning materials and feel present in the learning environment.

    2. Personalization

    Each student's requirements and preferences can be catered to in immersive learning environments. In-depth idea exploration and the ability to go at their own pace help learners learn more effectively.

    3. Different Cost Optimization

    Despite the set-up and running costs of immersive learning environments, this technology helps to save the variable cost of hiring instructors, providing physical study materials, etc. The most valuable cost-savings are realized from the reduction in human biases and errors and the time spent training the instructors.

    4. Immediate Feedback

    Students receive rapid feedback through immersive learning. As a result, they can immediately spot areas where they need to improve and modify their strategy. The sense of accomplishment gives students an immense boost in their motivation and engagement.

    5. Experiential Learning

    With an immersive educational experience, students can learn and practice through hands-on experiences. This way, they can apply whatever they have learned in a realistic environment, deepening their understanding of how things work practically.

    Disadvantages

    Even though the technology is beneficial, there are also some disadvantages to the concept. Have a look below:

    1. Potential of Over-Reliance

    The overuse of immersive learning technologies might hinder the growth of other abilities, including communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Being immersed in a virtual world puts expressions, body language and some other human cues on hindsight, making interactions lesser effective. This questions the stability of these virtual learning environments.

    2. Highly Skilled Workforce

    All types of immersive learning technologies are worked on and handled by highly experienced and skilled professionals. Consequently, without the people involved, these technologies would not be as effective in aiding any learning experience.

    3. Learning Outcomes

    Relying on immersive learning environments could cause students to get preoccupied with the devices rather than the learning process, making the learning process suffer. Moreover, there is no actual evidence that using immersive learning technologies improve learning outcomes or the process.

    4. Safety Concerns

    A virtual environment could cause certain users to experience physical or psychological harm, like nausea, migraines, dizziness, or balance problems. Virtual reality headsets, 3D glasses, controllers, or earbuds could also make you prone to pathogens that can spread between users who use the same devices. Moreover, some users claim that they experience momentary fuzziness, lightheadedness, or dream-like states after being immersed in a virtual environment.

    5. Limited Real-World Applicability

    Immersive learning experiences don't always translate to practical situations. These settings can be helpful for practice and feedback. Still, they might need to accurately reflect the complexity of actual situations. This may reduce how well the training prepares students for real-world job settings.

    Best Practices for Effective Learning

    Effective Learning with Immersive Learning in education is possible with the following practices:

    1. Define Learning Objectives

    Establishing the learning objectives in detail is crucial before developing an immersive learning experience. This will make it easier to ensure that the training aligns with the targeted results and that learners know what is expected of them. It will not only help in achieving your goals faster but also helps in testing your progress. You can also make a note of the time taken and techniques followed to achieve the task and improve it for further projects.

    2. Include Interactivity

    Utilize different learning modalities such as lectures, podcasts, videos, or interactive activities to reinforce key concepts. Interactive, immersive training in education is also a part of these modalities to promote the involvement and engagement of learners. This could involve simulations and situations that let students use their knowledge in a real-world setting and get rapid feedback.

    3. Make it Realistic

    The most natural settings should be used for creating immersive learning experiences. This can involve including true-to-life situations, simulations, and environments to aid learners in acquiring the abilities and information required to succeed in practical settings.

    4. Accessibility

    Make sure that the type of immersive learning experience you are offering for educational purposes is accessible to all. All learners, including those with disabilities, should be able to participate in immersive learning experiences. This can involve making the platform compatible with assistive technology and offering different formats for students with visual or aural impairments.

    5. Include Social Learning Aspects

    To encourage student cooperation and knowledge sharing, immersive learning should include social learning opportunities. This may entail including forums, collaborative projects, and peer review exercises.

    Immersive Learning vs Experiential Learning

    Immersive learning is an educational approach that immerses students in a virtual or physical environment that simulates real-world scenarios. It is designed to help learners better understand and retain information by actively engaging them in learning. Examples of immersive learning include virtual reality, augmented reality, and simulation-based learning.

    Experiential learning is an educational approach that emphasizes the hands-on exploration of concepts and skills. It allows learners to apply knowledge and skills in a practical setting and explore real-world problems. Examples of experimental learning include field trips, problem-based learning, and internships.

    Immersive LearningExperiential Learning
    Immersive learning primarily aims to provide learners with a realistic setting that simulates. real-world events. The goal is to assist learners in acquiring knowledge and skills in a secure and controlled environment, free of the risks associated with real-world circumstances.The primary goal of experiential learning is to allow students to apply their knowledge and abilities in real-world circumstances. The goal is to assist students in developing critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities.
    It heavily relies on technologies like VR and AR to generate simulated environments.Technologies like VR or AR are not a primary requisite in experiential learning.
    Learners are immersed in a simulated environment, allowing them to engage with realistic scenarios and objects.Learners actively engage with the subject matter through various activities, such as experiments, simulations, and projects.

    How to Use Immersive Learning in your Training Program?

    You can effectively use Immersive learning in your training program and help your trainees get the best experience possible. Follow the given tips to incorporate them most efficiently:

    1. Identify the Learning Objectives

    What information or skills do you want your students to gain? Begin by defining your training program's learning objectives. This will assist you in determining the most successful form of the immersive learning experience.

    2. Choose a Suitable Immersive Learning Technology

    Select the technology that best suits your learning goals and objectives and justifies your budget. You can explore virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), or mixed reality (MR). AR and VR can be used to create engaging and interactive learning experiences that allow learners to explore a virtual world. This can be used to teach complex topics immersive to learn in an engaging way, such as a virtual tour of a factory floor or a virtual walk-through of a crime scene.

    3. Design Learning Activities

    Create activities that will engage students and allow them to use their knowledge or abilities. Interactive simulations, role-playing exercises, or problem-solving activities could be included.

    4. Utilize Interactive Elements

    Interactive elements such as quizzes, polls, and surveys can be used to help learners interact with content and test their understanding. This can help keep learners engaged and make the learning process more enjoyable.

    5. Provide Feedback

    Give feedback to learners on their performance during the immersive learning experience. This will assist them in identifying areas for improvement and reinforcing their learning.

    6. Evaluate the Effectiveness

    Assess the effectiveness of the immersive learning experience by measuring the learners' performance and assessing their feedback. Make use of this data to improve the training program.

    Conclusion

    Now that you know all about ‘what is immersive education,’ you are all set to delve deeper into it and make it a part of your business! Immersive training is undoubtedly the ‘New-normal’ that is successfully entering the education field. Summing up, immersive learning technologies such as virtual, augmented, and mixed reality provide a novel and effective method of engaging learners in training programs.

    Immersive learning can improve knowledge retention, skill application, and overall training efficacy by presenting learners with an engaging and realistic learning experience. The immersive learning research network is becoming more accessible and cost-effective as technology advances, making them a realistic alternative for many enterprises. Integrating immersive learning technology into your training program will help you achieve higher learning outcomes and prepare your learners for job success. Hop on to KnowledgeHut’s best Web Development courses and build the essential skills required to be a part of these updated learning technologies.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What is the purpose of immersive technology?

    Immersive technology is designed to create a more engaging and interactive experience for users. It can be used for a variety of applications, including entertainment, education, marketing, and training.

    2What is the future of immersive technologies?

    Immersive technology is predicted to have a bright future. These technologies have been quickly evolving in recent years and will likely continue to do so. In the near future, virtual and augmented reality technologies will be used in a variety of contexts ranging from gaming to medicine, to education, to data visualization.

    • Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are expected to become more mainstream, especially as more affordable and accessible hardware becomes available.
    • Integrating immersive technologies with emerging technologies, such as 5G, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT), could lead to new and innovative applications.
    • The use of immersive technologies in social media and entertainment is likely to grow.
    3What makes a good immersive experience?

    A good immersive experience should have the following characteristics:

    • It should be highly engaging and interactive.
    • It should provide a sense of presence for the user.
    • It should also be designed with a specific purpose in mind
    • The experience should be tailored to the user's individual needs, interests, and preferences and should be able to adapt to the user's behavior and respond accordingly. Finally, a good immersive experience should be accessible to a wide range of users and provide a meaningful, enjoyable, and educational experience.
    Profile

    Sachin Bhatnagar

    Blog Author

    Sachin Bhatnagar is an experienced education professional with 20+ years of expertise in Media & Entertainment and Web Technologies. Currently, as the Program Director - Full-Stack at KnowledgeHut, he excels in curriculum development, hands-on training, and strategic deployment of industry-centric educational programs. His online training programs on have attracted over 25,000 learners since 2014. He actively contributes to the development of full-stack training products, leveraging KnowledgeHut's advanced learning platform. Collaborating with organizational leaders, he ensures the success of these programs and has created several technology programs prominently featured in KnowledgeHut's course offerings.

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