Published on May 1st, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise0
XR Health and Safety Training
XR or VR can result in experiential learning which is very powerful. In this report by Todd Maddox at TechTrends, health and safety training are in the spotlight and it shows how XR training could be the difference in saving lives when it comes to fire safety. If an employee can actually experience a workplace fire without getting burned and practice the right response, you have a safer company.
Why extended Reality (xR) is an Effective Tool for Environmental Health and Safety Training: A Brain Science Analysis.
A critical function in nearly all industrial and manufacturing settings is to provide high-quality and effective training in environmental health and safety (EHS). Although one might argue that EHS is not the most exciting or engaging topic, a strong understanding of EHS guidelines and most importantly an ability to ACT quickly and effectively under ANY CONDITIONS, including high stress and pressure, can be the difference between a smooth-running operation with only minor safety issues, and an environmental disaster.
The terms “act” and “any conditions” are emphasized for a reason. It is one thing to know “what” to do, to have the cognitive ability to verbalize the EHS guidelines, and to pass a written compliance test, but it is another thing (and mediated by different learning and performance systems in the brain) to know “how” to do it, and to be able to perform those behaviors under any conditions, including under high stress or pressure (referred to as situational awareness). The ability to verbalize and pass written tests is important for communication and compliance concerns, but the ability to behave appropriately regardless of the level of chaos and stress, is often the difference between life and death.
Because the learning systems in the brain that mediate a cognitive understanding of EHS are distinct from those that mediate a behavioral understanding of EHS and situational awareness, there is very little transfer of cognitive knowledge into behavioral understanding or situational awareness. This is a serious problem in EHS because the majority of EHS training targets a cognitive and not a behavioral understanding.
In this brief report I show that extended reality (xR) technologies hold great promise for training behavior and situational awareness in EHS. xR technologies reduce the burden on cognitive systems whose processing is adversely affected by stress and pressure, provide the opportunity for limitless behavioral practice in virtual or real-world settings, and speed learning and retention by broadly engaging multiple learning systems in the brain in synchrony.
Brain Science of Learning in EHS
The key to xR technologies for training is that they are experience-based. As Albert Einstein so eloquently stated
“Learning is an experience. Everything else is just information”
Experiential learning provides the foundation for the effectiveness of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications in EHS. As elaborated below, experiential learning is effective because it facilitates the engagement of multiple learning systems in the brain in synchrony.