The future of learners: Personalisation in immersive learning

In this new blog Sean Pearce looks at our Immersive Learning Report and draws out some exciting thinking about the workforce of the future…

We’re not robots.

We don’t respond to the world with pure, rational calculations. We feel, we intuit, we go with our guts. If we want our learning technology to be successfully immersive, we need to understand the human factor.

As the learning technology industry leans-in to the immersive revolution, we’re going to have to think about the human.

How do new technology solutions make people feel? How do our evolutionary instincts respond to the millions of possible scenarios immersive lets us build? These are the kinds of questions that need answers, otherwise we’re just grafting circuit boards onto someone’s skin and wondering why they’re complaining.

What do we want the ‘immersion’ of immersive technology to be like? The kinds of learning environment the learner will be placed into have the potential of being more ‘real’ than any other they’ve used. Real-time learning is a very real avenue to explore. But if these environments don’t feel right, they’re not going to achieve the desired effect. They’re going to be strange, unnatural, and off-putting.

To prevent this, we need new ways of mapping learner responses. There are a lot of different directions this can go in.

In a recent interview, Olivia Lory-Kay said:

“Integrating biometric data will be another huge step in creating realistic and resonant narratives – my heart beats faster, the story moves on, or adapts depending on my mood…

There are all sorts of questions about ethical design when we have such an enhanced ability to influence the learner. We are working with some pioneers in this space and that future looks very exciting.”

If we follow this line of thinking, we realise that what we’re dealing here isn’t a potential problem upsetting our neatly conceived elearning projects.

This new layer of bio-data is a resource to be used.

By designing for biological and emotional prompts in an adaptive fashion, we can build the learner journey in a way that will work for them individually.
The push towards personalised learning is nothing new. But responsive immersive learning design offers even greater depth, that looks equally at what makes us the same, as well as what makes us all different.

This isn’t the only way we need to listen to human feelings. What we need to do is foster an attitude that views technology as an aid and not as a replacement.

Finding ways to de-mystify technology, to make it more familiar and easier to comprehend is vital. If we pursue this far enough, we can envisage learning environments where the human learner, the technology around them, and the workplace they operate in, all operate with one another seamlessly and harmoniously.

We’re not robots, but maybe we need to learn to be cyborgs…

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