The Significance of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Workplace Training Programs

Workplace training programs often play a crucial role in a company’s success. They promote a culture of lifelong learning, enhancing employee productivity and engagement. Sadly, traditional training programs often fail to generate the desired outcome as they cannot connect with the learners on a deeper level. That’s where immersive technologies such as AR and VR make a huge difference.

AR and VR facilitate interactive and immersive learning experiences that engage the learners and improve their knowledge retention. If you do not know “What is immersive learning,” it is an experiential training method that uses virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to simulate real-world scenarios and train learners in an engaging, immersive environment without any distractions.

As we witness the dawn of a new era in learning and development (L&D), let’s explore how VR and AR are changing the learning landscape for the better.



How are AR and VR transforming workplace training?

Virtual reality (VR) technology is primarily used to create computer-generated simulations, replacing the real world with a virtual one. It generally requires a VR headset to interact with the virtual three-dimensional environment. On the other hand, Augmented Reality (AR) technology overlays digital information on the physical world, helping bridge the gap between learning and application. Both these technologies aim to engage the user in a highly immersive experience.

Real-world Skill Practice

VR helps develop realistic simulations that allow the learners to experience real-world situations in a safe and controlled environment. Since it is a virtual environment, you can make mistakes without worrying about the consequences and learn from them. Moreover, the fully immersive experience improves engagement by offering experiential learning.

On-the-Job Training

AR technology integrates digital information and virtual objects into real-world surroundings, allowing businesses to overlay real-time information on things. Also, learners can interact with virtual objects in the physical environment, getting a hands-on learning experience. With this technology, organizations can facilitate on-the-job training, ensuring employees get the learning opportunity while gaining professional experience.

Better Engagement and Collaboration

The interactive and realistic nature of VR and AR technologies stimulates curiosity among learners and promotes active participation in the learning program. Moreover, organizations can create virtual spaces where people from different parts of the world can come together to discuss, collaborate, and take part in group activities. It further creates opportunities for the learners to participate in rare experiences relevant to their training program.

Contextual Learning and Practical Usage

VR and AR help connect theoretical knowledge with its real-world application through contextual learning experiences. With these immersive technologies, organizations can create simulated real-life situations where learners can apply their knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of how things work in the real world. For example, it can be used in manufacturing firms, allowing learners and professionals to use the prototype in a simulated environment. This will enable the team to check the performance and identify potential issues before launching it for public use.

Both VR and AR use diverse learning styles to engage the visual, auditory, and other senses of the learners. Needless to say, employees at an organization will find these immersive training programs more interesting than the traditional ones.

The Benefits of Using Immersive Technologies for Workplace Training

Both AR and VR technologies are being extensively used in the gaming and entertainment industries to create an immersive experience for the audience. At the same time, they have the potential to revolutionize the field of learning and development. In fact, there are several advantages of using these immersive technologies for workplace training.

Minimal Risks

In an immersive learning environment, the learners can make mistakes without the fear of real-world consequences. The simulation minimizes and often eliminates the risks associated with certain employee training programs. As a result, the trainees are able to practice their skills in such virtual environments more freely and develop confidence in carrying out those specific tasks. While this aspect of immersive technologies is particularly useful in medical training, science experiments, and engineering, regular businesses can also take advantage of them.

Better Memory Retention:

The immersive learning programs created with AR and VR technologies engage the learners’ multiple senses, giving them a feeling similar to a first-hand experience. Unlike traditional learning practices that generally focus on theories, immersive training puts the learners in a simulated environment where they practice how to handle common problems encountered on the job. Since this learning experience requires the trainees to respond to the scenarios proactively, they are more likely to retain the information in the long run. A lot of organizations use gamification to make the lessons more enjoyable for the learners.

Cost Effectiveness

The initial cost of setting up an immersive training environment for the workplace can be a bit high. However, when compared to the cost associated with hiring instructors, facilities, and physical equipment for traditional training, AR and VR-powered training may help you save a lot in the long run. Moreover, it significantly reduces the time spent on training, practicing, and making errors. The employees can utilize the saved time more productively, boosting workplace efficiency. Also, with immersive learning, the trainees won’t require the help of their peers during the training. As those secondary workers no longer need to shadow the trainees, they can focus on their primary responsibilities at the organization.

Instant Feedback

The simulated scenarios in immersive learning environments offer instant feedback on the training, helping learners and trainers identify areas that require more work. By synchronizing the training program with a learning management system (LMS), organizations can better track the progress of individual trainees and make sure every feedback is taken into consideration. Also, immersive technologies with AI-powered features help randomize simulations, ensuring the learners never have the exact same experience throughout the program. This leads to faster improvement and a more engaging learning experience for the trainees.

Personalized Training

Organizations can personalize immersive training to fulfill the specific needs of individual employees or a team. This feature enhances the relevance and effectiveness of the training program. As most companies shift their focus from content-centric models to learner-centric training, this personalization feature becomes crucial in helping them achieve the training objectives.

Conclusion

It is essential to understand that technologies like AR and VR are not here to teach something new. These technologies only reimagine the way training materials are presented to the learners in a more immersive and impactful manner. If you want to revamp your corporate training program to make it more engaging for the employees, it may be the right time to invest in AR and VR technology for an immersive learning experience.

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