Published on January 8th, 2020 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Take Learning to the Next Level
2020 could be the year of widespread adoption of augmented reality in training and HR use cases. Jeff Ridgeway posts at Chief Learning Officer on some different ways companies are taking advantage of AR in these areas. Maybe this will mean the beginning of the end of big information dumps on employees under the guise of “development” or “human resources.” Subjecting workers to a deluge of content is never an effective process. AR can help by proving info contextually and at the time of need.
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Augmented reality has received plenty of buzz over the past few years, and as the technology advances and becomes more commercially available, its applications are becoming more diverse and innovative. Perhaps the most interesting is its potential in learning and development. Organizations that are ahead of the game are looking to AR to bolster their L&D programs — here’s why you should too.
Active Learning Through Doing
AR is all about immersion. Rather than be chained to a desk (the bane of existence for many workers), AR can get employees up and moving with highly interactive content. L&D professionals know how important knowledge retention is, and there is viable data showing the effectiveness of learning through an engaging experience. Findings from Mindshare Futures’ “Layered” report demonstrate that AR drives extremely high levels of visual attention in the brain (almost double, in fact) and is very successful at eliciting a “surprise” response, which aids retention. The report also determined that brains retain an approximately 70 percent higher rate of encoding into long-term memory from AR experiences compared with non-AR experiences.
In other words, AR’s interactive nature has the ability to empower the employee to “pull” content through their own discovery in an immersive learning environment, making for much more powerful knowledge retention. This has a big impact on an L&D program’s bottom line and is so much more than just being entertaining and engaging for employees — it can actually point directly to an ROI.
What Does AR-Infused L&D Look Like?
AR can take many forms in learning and development. Here are a few.
Optimizing training for floor-based employees. Some businesses face unique challenges when it comes to delivering effective L&D, with workforces that can often feel disconnected from traditional e-learning programs. This includes employees from widely varying industries (such as retail, food service, banking, and other hospitality or front-of-house-based businesses) that are not easily able to block out long chunks of training time away from their roles, which often demand they be on their feet for extended periods of time with frequent busy periods. AR overcomes this difficulty by delivering highly effective bite-sized training in short amounts of time, easily accessible from employees’ mobile devices at times best suited to them. Rather than sitting in a back room enduring a training video, they can access their training on their breaks, on the floor, or even in the comfort of their home in an enjoyable and engaging way.