Every instructional designer should know about the three domains of learning and how they relate to mental and physical activity. The domains are cognitive (thinking), affective (feeling, emotions, and social), and psychomotor (physical, movement). At the same time, designers should know how to deliver learning experiences as experiential (completing tasks as in real life) and immersive (where the learner is immersed in a virtual environment). Experiential and immersive experiences are both forms of “learning by doing” and they can serve to support all three learning domains.

Until relatively recently, cognitive learning experiences often took place as lectures, reading, or the dreaded “death by PowerPoint.” Psychomotor learning experiences tended to rely on the use of real or simulated equipment. Affective learning often used role plays or similar exercises to achieve some approximation of learning by doing. However, because the human mind does not know the difference between simulated experiences and imaginary experiences, designers can use immersive technology to support learning in all three dimensions, as well as those involving multiple perspectives and knowledge transfer.

Immersive technology comprises methods ranging from augmented reality (AR) to virtual reality (VR), extended reality (XR), gaming, and simulation. It has potential for supporting learning in all three dimensions, with the benefits that learners are more engaged, remember what they have learned longer, and they reach competent performance far faster than they do when the experience is delivered through lectures and other forms of instruction. In addition, there is no danger to the learners, as there would be in “live” training.

At Learning Guild events, you can see examples of this concept in the DemoFest.

DemoFest Online Conference

DemoFest is an attendee-favorite activity that takes place during The Learning Guild's conferences. Designers and developers showcase their best work in this science-fair setting and discuss the unique tools, technologies, and processes they used in their projects. On June 3, explore immersive solutions using more traditional approaches and tools in the L&D toolbox, as well as those that push the envelope. You'll get under the hood with each developer to learn more about why they took their learners on a journey, the design decisions they made, and the results achieved.

In this Online Conference, you can remotely witness three projects designed to take learners on an immersive, experiential learning journey. Each of these authentic solutions, created with both common and cutting-edge tools, reveal immersive approaches to solving performance problems and inspiring new ways of thinking and doing.

Demo 1: VR Sexual Misconduct Prevention (Presented by Bill West, President, REGATTA)

The problem of sexual harassment continues to permeate our culture. Standard training programs have not impacted the problem. This demo sought to find out if VR technology could produce real empathy and enable change of behavior.

Three common situations are shown where sexual misconduct often occurs and where proper behaviors need to be demonstrated. First, the learner is transported into the shoes of Laura who is getting hit-on at a bar, and Cliff who intervenes. In the second, the learner is a man navigating conversations throughout his office. The final is an HR manager reporting harassment.

Demo 2: Professional Color Specialist: Blended Learning (Presented by Jo Rowley, Lead Learning Designer, LEO Learning)

L’Oréal found knowledge retention of theory within their existing course was poor between the face-to-face training sessions. Content was recapped the following week, which reduced practical session time. Students struggled with assignments at the end of the course. Learner confidence was low, and so were enrollments. Learners didn't practice new skills in their salons due to lack of confidence.

The bite-sized, highly visual elearning modules, are delivered between the face-to-face sessions. They act as a revision tool and preview of the following week. Using the 100 percent mobile online learning aspect of the blend, learners can revisit what they have learned in their own time or at the salon, and complete assignments throughout rather than waiting until the end.

Demo 3: You're the Hero of Hacksaw Ridge – VR Experience (Presented by Dov Jacobson, GamesThatWork)

This experience seeks to educate the public about the special bravery and integrity of Desmond Doss, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his battlefield courage despite his pacifism and refusal to bear arms.

You understand the courage that Doss exhibited because virtual reality has immersed you in his world, perched on a precipice with gunfire all around. You may be trembling with fear but remember that you need a steady hand to complete your mission successfully. Lives depend on it.

Online DemoFest: Find immersive solutions for your L&D challenges!

Online DemoFest is a free webinar (Guild membership is NOT required), presented Wednesday, June 3, 2020 10 AM to 11 AM Pacific Time. Register here!