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Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have been around for quite some time. The first instance of VR was conceptualized as early as the 1860s. A few decades later, Antonin Artaud, a prominent avant-garde figure of the twentieth century, declared that theatre the audience should suspend their disbelief and watch the plays as if they were real- an alternate reality playing right in front of their eyes.
Fast-forward another decade and, starting with the 1970s well into the 1990s, artificial reality was already being used quite successfully by the health, military, automotive, and air and space industries. Still, it is worth mentioning that the modern concept of virtual reality comes from science fiction and the brilliant minds of authors like Isac Asimov, H.G. Wells, and Aldous Huxley.
Read also: The Differences Between AR, VR, and MR
Augmented Reality is different from Virtual Reality, in that the user or learner does not get completely immersed in the artificial world they are accessing through technology and computer-generated information. With AR, the user is still very much present in the real world, and elements of the virtual world are superimposed on real objects.
There are various ways in which AR is used in corporate training or employee training programs. Safety procedures, onboarding processes, and machine fixing are being taught through the help of augmented reality. With AR, users can learn new concepts that would otherwise prove too risky or dangerous to simulate in real life.
Although using virtual reality simulations in employee training courses will also create a safe, immersive, and realistic experience for the learner, the biggest differences between VR and AR in eLearning are:
Level of immersion- VR is a fully immersive experience while AR is only partial
Device use- while VR mainly uses headset technology, AR can be displayed through headsets, handheld devices, laptops, and most other modern technologies
Application- when it comes to education, VR and AR application are widely different. VR can engage learners in visually stunning experiences, like seeing how the world looked like during the Renaissance Era. Still, AR brings wider spectrum applicability because it is more practical in learning environments where learners need to be aware of their real-world surroundings.
High Learner Engagement
Alternate reality technologies raise levels of engagement in learners. This is because technology has allowed animation engines, instructional designers, and game designers to combine fun with functional in eLearning content delivery.
Aside from the visually attractive and fun components, augmented and virtual reality courses also appeal to learners because of the risk-free element of learning. Players can make the same mistakes as many times as they need until they learn how to perform an action the right way.
Lower Costs and No Risks
More funds have been invested in streamlining AR and VR for eLearning. Thus, the costs of implementing these technologies into your organization's Learning and Development (L&D) culture are significantly lower than they were even a few years back. The affordability together with a risk-free learning experience makes AR and VR ideal for use in the eLearning industry.
A player immersed in an AR or VR application can definitely learn the right theories and processes easier. But, most importantly, alternate reality technologies allow learners to practice more. Learning by doing is known to improve knowledge retention and skill acquisition. The concepts delivered can be put into practice straight away when using AR and VR in eLearning.
As mentioned, employee learners can play the same level multiple times without the risk of injury or of causing harm to the technologies they are learning about. This risk-free approach of artificial reality tech allows for self-paced learning and the ability to take a course until a concept is mastered.
Personalized-learning paths are nothing new for the eLearning world. But, in an artificial reality, this concept translates extremely well into self-guided exploration. Learners can choose their own paths and help the application customize their experience based on a variety of personal preferences and data.
Without further ado, here are some of the main industries that can benefit from AR and VR employee training.
Education- the use of virtual and augmented realities will help students experience stronger educational involvement from experiential learning scenarios.
Entertainment- game developers have been exploring VR and AR starting with the 1990s. The line between entertainment and education has been seriously blurred and it is becoming more clear that a combination of the two is more powerful.
Healthcare- the medical field can benefit from AR and VR applications because it can take learners into micro and macro worlds that before were inaccessible and increase patient and staff safety.
Travel- users could explore new locations before deciding to purchase a trip. Applications like VRoom Service and WorldLens are pushing the boundary of what the travel industry can do with artificial reality tech.
Air and Space- flight simulators have been using VR technology for a long time. Still, space training and flight training are still very much taking advantage of the newly developed AR and VR applications.
There are many other industries that can benefit from integrating AR and VR into employee training, such as engineering, construction, and manufacturing, to name a few. With the benefits that are gained, this immersive training delivery is a strategy that every industry should consider for learning and development.
Read also: How Can AR and VR Be Used in the Workplace?
You can redefine your company's L&D culture by offering employees alternate reality training. Read more about AR and VR in eLearning to gain a full understanding of why it is a great idea to incorporate it in your employee training efforts. If you are interested in learning more about Designing Digitally and would like to talk with our team about your training needs, contact us today!