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FEATURE INTERACTIVE LEARNING


How is immersive technology being used to reimagine health and safety training? Mike Todd, CEO of Near-Life, examines this ever-growing field.


The rapid pace of technological advancement in eLearning offers huge potential for businesses to harness the capabilities of immersive technology for health and safety training. Using the likes of interactive video and VR has the ability not only to change the way in which we learn, but also to improve its effectiveness.


Interactive learning is an incredibly effective training method. It leads to higher knowledge retention than in a conventional classroom setting, because of its immersive nature; it stimulates multiple senses, helping the brain to record the activity with more accuracy.


THE PANDEMIC SHIFT Immersive learning is a perfectly placed tool for the


world in which we currently live in. Businesses have had to shift, at pace, to working remotely, harnessing technology to remain connected.


When it comes to employee training, organisations have had to look at new ways to facilitate training programmes to maintain momentum. While it’s not currently possible for many organisations to host physical training sessions, regulatory requirements remain unchanged and the need to deliver effective health and safety training is ever-present.


Immersive learning comes with the huge added benefits of scalability which can be done at relatively low cost — making it an incredibly accessible training tool for organisations of all shapes and sizes. The investment in the tech itself can be relatively low-cost and it can be adapted and rolled out across multiple geographic locations, making it more cost effective than arranging in-person or on-site training.


Another added benefit is the opportunity that immersive tech presents for safe learning, especially in the context of health and safety training; immersive tech can accurately reflect the sights and sounds of countless work-based scenarios. Furthermore, the programming can be tailored to allow for unexpected consequences of the user’s actions, creating and presenting a new problem or obstacle to overcome – delivered in a completely safe environment.


HOW IMMERSIVE TECH IS BEING USED IN


HEALTH AND SAFETY It’s no secret that health and safety training can often be viewed as just a tick-box exercise. In most scenarios, learners are presented with a list of dos and don’ts and endless paperwork detailing health and safety practices and procedures, plus anecdotal examples of bad practice in the workplace. As a result, it sometimes feels like nothing could make health and safety training in the workplace engaging, interactive or even enjoyable.





“IMMERSIVE LEARNING COMES WITH THE HUGE ADDED BENEFITS OF SCALABILITY WHICH CAN BE DONE AT RELATIVELY LOW COST.”


For example, we joined forces with ASDA to introduce new health and safety learning using the Near-Life approach to actively engage colleagues. We worked closely to develop a course that tackled the key learning points. By asking the question, ‘What do we really want colleagues to take away from this?’, the course development project group was able to address the key areas of change. By approaching the learning in this way, we developed an interactive learning experience that really addressed the key issues and reinforced ASDA’s commitment to health and safety.


To make the learning engaging, a script was developed that brought the learning points to life by using ASDA language and terminology. A combination of professional actors and ASDA colleagues were filmed in a store to replicate real-life scenarios. This made the learning relevant as the setting and language were instantly recognisable.


Using the Near-Life learning approach and interactive game system, a time-sensitive, outcomes-based experience was designed and delivered. This has initially been rolled out across ASDA Retail academies, where the learning is being delivered in group setting where feedback has been very positive.


WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE? Tech is evolving all the time but, in this sphere


specifically, some of the most exciting developments will come as product development seeks to encompass more senses into the existing immersive experience. Immersive tech provides users with the ability to transcend traditional workplace barriers and will help businesses to future-proof their organisations with more effective training scenarios that reflect the real-world environment that learners are likely to face.


https://near-life.tech/


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www.tomorrowshs.com


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