In 1885, Herman Ebbinghaus published a study called Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology. The German psychologist discovered what he called “the forgetting curve”, demonstrating that, in less than an hour, a person forgets around 50% of information that was just presented to them. In 24 hours, this increases to 70%, and 90% is forgotten within a month. Scary!
Especially since Ebbinghaus had not foreseen the huge amount of information that we would have to deal with in the future: the quantity of information produced by humans now doubles every two years. He also wouldn’t see how the workplace would become a mine of interruptions (on average, 42 a day), or that our concentration capacity would drop to only 8 seconds in 2017. That’s shorter than a goldfish!
It’s at this point that we wonder if we actually remember anything from our last workplace training session. But don’t panic— it’s all normal!
Forgetting things isn’t a malfunction in our brain, it’s a form of natural adaptive behavior where our brain sorts out the useful information from the stuff we don’t need.
Therefore, it is up to training and education professionals to use the learning solutions available to them to ensure that the information is implanted better. These solutions must have 4 characteristics in order to create effective learning experiences:
- Their content must attract the learners’ attention
- They must allow experimentation, practice, and an opportunity to “learn by doing”
- They must make use of the most natural way for a human to learn: through playing games
- They must be easily accessible and allow for aspects to be repeated, as well as allowing room to make mistakes
While no training method may perfectly cover all of these requirements, we at Uptale firmly believe that one of them warrants emphasis: immersive learning.
For the mathematicians among you:
Immersive Learning = Simulated and controlled learning environment x Virtual reality
Virtual reality can place people in real-life situations without the usual limitations on reality: logistics, risk of failure, time constraints, and the ability to make mistakes. And by way of comparison, immersive learning stacks up well against other learning methods:
Clearly, immersive learning is not about to replace other existing solutions. It isn’t suitable for all learning situations and isn’t infallible. But, disclaimers aside, the technology used could optimize learning processes in the brain and enrich the learning experience, all while increasing its effectiveness and reducing costs for both the company and the trainer.