What you think and what you learn matters! When it comes to learner engagement, posts, visuals and videos are the ones that tend to click and resonate. To make learning ‘sticky’, the use of these mediums seem to lure learners by choice not force! At least, that’s what the current trends are indicating with the appeal quotient of the courses and content piquing the interest of learners.
Sounds simple? Well, when it comes to technical content, the challenges appear to be multi-fold. It is as if the technology wave that we are witnessing is what is determining the learning path. For instance, who would have envisioned a scenario where big screens would be replaced with small, wide, smart, and handy screens, or have to co-exist in a device flooded market?
While technology obsolescence is not within control, some factors that are perceptibly constant are the following: agility, the ability to change or to be nimble, the willingness to adapt and,of course,the pace and quest for learning and growing.
Even a formal content can attract a learner if it is presented in an informal, exciting, immersive, and engaging manner. Technology is used to convey reality through the virtual medium and simulated environments. Face time is in! Face-to-face communication is passé? Well, skyping and video conferencing are tools that are helping to buck the trend. So, is the preference for emotions or emoticons. Sounds weird or wired?
Having said that how do emerging technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR), beef up technology-based learning? It is the possibility of getting an immersive experience with images, graphics, and videos coming to life that enhances learning engagement. So, it is the digital layer on the physical layer and the opportunity to use multiple operating environments – Android or iOS devices – that is taking learning to a different dimension. Here are a couple of pointers that will put the focus on the need to boost learner engagement with the use of emerging technologies.
Employees of certain industries, particularly in engineering processes, military, complex operations, healthcare, and aviation have a pressing need for hands-on training. When hands-on training may be too risky to be delivered, such as flight control to a trainee pilot or surgery for a newly practising physician, simulated environments can do the needful. Of course, they come at a cost, and a huge one at that, but the main advantage they provide is being a one-time investment to deliver the most effective form of training in a completely secure manner.
For other organizations, where VR is not that big a necessity, AR does the trick. Businesses that are into process engineering or engineering design processes, healthcare, IT, and others can benefit from AR programs. Cutting-edge graphics and animations using 3D and special effects tools have made it possible to deliver high quality training.
Listed below are some of the AR applications:
- Visual recognition of real life objects or print patterns
- Streaming of 3D objects from a live server through multiple HD display screens within the organization, which is particularly helpful in providing on-the-job support to medical professionals or for demonstrating engineering processes.
- Video see-through animations on top of real feed. For example, assisting engineers at work through their mobile devices, so that they can immediately access a process stage or manufacturing part in case they need support.
- Audio guidance and visual displays for complex tasks.
Citing an example would throw light on how dynamic learning environments can be!
Engineers that work in high-end automobile manufacturing and design businesses must have a keen understanding of the functioning of automobile parts. And here, we aren’t just talking about relatively simple machines like cars. These are huge locomotives such as trains and moving generators where in a substantial level of training is required to understand the various components and their functioning to carry on everyday tasks such as operations and maintenance. Augmented reality makes it possible to create high quality videos by super imposing digital 3D content onto real life objects so that each component, and the process therein is clearly visible. Providing employees with a video library using AR techniques improves their retention by reiterating the processes that they might have witnessed during actual training. The natural result is a workforce which is more confident, reliable, and productive, and equipped with practical knowledge at all times.
Finding the right skill-set is a challenge that organizations globally are facing or having to grapple with. Shortage of human resources and the limited ability of workers to come up to speed are leading organizations to look at supporting performance, instead of driving it. That approach is what delights learners who are eager to test or embrace newer and innovative modes of learning today. They, therefore, operate in their comfort zones by using the critical resource of time and leverage the power and prowess of technology from time to time. It is this aspect leading to productivity and efficiency that has influenced organizations to enable ease of access to people when it comes to tools and technology.
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