Augmented learning is not necessarily a brand new concept, but it’s certainly one that is on most learning and training professionals’ and insiders’ minds as we head into 2015. Get smart and learn more about augmented learning and the training context 

In fact, many writers and experts within the eLearning industry are pointing to augmented learning as one of the primary trends we can expect to see making waves in 2015. It’s important to have a basic understanding of what this type of learning entails and how it can be applied in a corporate setting.

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What is Augmented Learning?

Augmented learning is referred to as an on-demand way of teaching students or employees, with a learning environment that adapts to the individual. To go into more depth, augmented learning means the context or setting of the learner is automatically accounted for by the learning management system.

In simplest terms, augmented learning can essentially be viewed as a form of virtual reality.

It is becoming more prevalent in the learning world as we see the development and introduction of devices like Google Glass, which pave the way for this type of powerful learning experience.

The Corporate Training Context

Let us look at the concept of augmented learning within the corporate training sphere. Imagine training employees at a manufacturing plant—augmented learning could be used as a training tool to guide new employees through the entire plant, including its complex systems, before the employee ever steps foot on the actual manufacturing floor.

It is even possible for augmented reality to provide a way for employees to virtually handle objects they may be responsible for using on the job. This means it’s possible this type of learning can have implications for everything from the medical device manufacturing industry to healthcare.

The Advantages

Once you really have a grasp of what augmented learning is, it becomes fairly easy to see the advantages in the corporate training world.

  • You can give employees the opportunity to know first-hand what they will be experiencing on the job, without the fear of risk or failure. This is a great way to deliver safety and processes training and also give employees a more thorough understanding of complex concepts.
  • As with most new developments and innovations in technology and learning, there’s the opportunity with augmented learning to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity through this type of delivery.
  • Virtual training is the most interactive and often most engaging style of learning available, and there are plentiful options to include a variety of learning components within an augmented learning setting including collaboration and socialized learning.
  • When appropriate, virtual learning can essentially recreate the classroom learning experience while still delivering the advantages of eLearning, including the ability to train employees across a broad geographic spectrum and variety of learning paces and styles.

While not every company may be ready to leap into full-scale augmented learning, there are some immediate lessons that can be taken from this style of training employees. For example, something as simple as having pop-ups included within a learning environment providing employees with more information about a particular term as it arises in training can be considered a basic form of augmented learning. Also, including video overlays within a slide or eLearning screen can also be a way to incorporate this robust and interactive style of learning.

We are likely to see the idea of virtual learning be pervasive in 2015 and beyond, as more offerings become available. While it may not be fully developed as a mainstream corporate training concept right now, companies willing to remain on the cusp of innovations in learning are more likely to stay competitive in the face of a rapidly changing landscape.