With thousands of students across the country soon to head off on study leave as exam season approaches, do you ever wonder how you once managed to retain information easier than you do now?! How much information from your last corporate training event do you still remember?
It’s not just to do with age or willpower, it’s also because our brains are wired to forget things we learn when they’re no longer needed or relevant. We have so much information presented to us every minute of every day that there is literally only so much we can take in! It’s called the ‘forgetting curve’ – a phenomenon by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus back in the 1800s.
He showed the rate of how quickly information is forgotten: 50% after one hour (that’s half the content before they even leave your event!), 74% after 24 hours and 90% within a month!
So what’s the answer? Clearly we have to retain important information for our job roles. It’s no good coming in one day and forgetting how to use a piece of machinery, or not knowing the correct procedure to follow during an incident.
If we think about corporate training, there is a growing expectation to do more than the typical classroom or theatre style training, which unfortunately falls victim to the disappointing stats above. We need to find new ways to engage our delegates’ brains and help them retain the information you’ve spent so long preparing.
Immersive training has been used for years in industries such as the emergency services, which rely on setting up situations that staff must be adequately equipped to deal with when it first happens for real.
They typically create simulations during staff training based on live incidents, such as plane crashes, riots and major crime investigations.
Immersive training puts people in an interactive learning environment. This environment can be physical or virtual, and we’ll look at examples of both of these in this blog.
This immersive method of learning is now becoming commonplace in educational environments such as schools and colleges, and, more relevant for us, in the corporate world too. Think back to your last training event or CPD instalment. Were you outside team building or inside staring at a bottle of mineral water and some mints? Don’t worry if it’s the latter, for times are changing!
How do people learn?
By understanding how people learn, we can work out what our training sessions need to consist of.
● Is based on relevant and attention grabbing content
● Tells a story
● Engages the senses
● Revolves around doing practical tasks
● Has a play element to it
● Has the key points repeated throughout
Both physical and virtual immersive training can tick all of these boxes…
Physical immersive training
You can have a lot of fun with physical immersive training, basing your whole event around a memorable and exciting theme, from the food, to the literature and signage.
We managed an immersive training event like this for car manufacturer, Kia, to inform their sales staff of the new models, which had recently been launched. What better way to excite the team and send them back to work ready to sell as many cars as possible, than to make them into army recruits for the day?!
This was role play at its best, taking place at an MOD training camp with a Tour of Duty theme. The team who led the event were dressed head to toe in army gear and known by delegates – or recruits – as lieutenants. There was branded signage and we also put a spin on other materials; the delegate guide for the day was designed as an aide-memoire, the name badges were dog tags and attendees also had colour coded armbands. We also used army tent coverings for the marquees, together with themed props and decorations.
Even the language used on the materials played a key part in the theme: we used ‘Enrol here’ at the registration desks rather than ‘Register’, and ‘Mess Hall’ rather than ‘Canteen’!
Virtual immersive training
Here we start to employ new immersive technologies to recreate environments that will help our delegates learn.
● Simulators – These use computer software to model a real-world scenario. You might be sat in the driving seat of a racing car or flying through the air in a plane; whatever the situation, you’re put in a real scenario to help you learn how to deal with it.
● Virtual reality (VR) – A simple pair of goggles can take you to another country or into a particular situation. These headsets provide no limits on real time, logistics or geography and come without the risk of real life situations.
● Augmented reality (AR) – AR is halfway between VR and the real world. It adds a digital layer of information across real, physical objects. For instance, you might look through a smart phone at a still image on the wall, which then comes to life and adds a whole new dimension.
● 360 videos and images
● Virtual 3D tours
There is no doubt that immersive training makes everything more memorable, but it can also do wonders for your brand or company. Delegates will certainly have a thing or two to talk about after the event, which will help to promote a product or at least encourage networking among one another. If you’d like to chat about creating an immersive training event, please get in touch!