What Is Immersive Training?

BeckerHere is an excerpt from an article by Robert Becker for LinkedIn Pulse. To read the complete article and check out others, please click here.

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My home page expresses a bias for three powerful modes of instruction: serious game, training simulation, immersive tutorial. What the heck is an immersive tutorial?

Let’s begin with what it’s not: a tutorial is not a lecture. It’s important to say this because the bulk of corporate learning is presented in lecture format. Most instructor-lead training by a subject-matter expert is lecture. So are the narrated slides of conventional e-learning. MOOCs too are lectures.

In a lecture, a narrator presents information; learning is passive. A truism of college teaching is that professors learn more from giving lectures than do students. Why? Because writing and delivering a lecture is hard creative work, while witnessing one requires nothing more than paying attention.

Tutorial is a form of active learning. There is no narrator. Instead the teacher is a facilitator of inquiry and engagement. Tutorials catalyze learning by means of research, discussion, exploration, heuristics. The act of seeking – rather than watching, listening and taking notes – is key to tutorial.

Lots of good pedagogy in schools is tutorial. At the other end of the academic spectrum, most graduate studies are tutorial, with their penchant for research and discovery of new knowledge. Children and more advanced adults learn in similar ways: from the kind of enterprising experience that tutorials foster.

Now what about immersive tutorial? Immersive is taken for granted in real-world tutorials. Arguing in a seminar, experimenting in a lab, practicing in a studio, observing subjects in nature, are by necessity immersive. Dynamic social and physical surroundings make passive learning practically impossible. One has to do things to learn things in these settings, or else flunk out.

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Here is a direct link to the complete article.

Robert Becker is a Creative Director, Instructional Designer, Multimedia Producer of Adult Learning whose firm, Becker Multimedia, Inc., is based in the Greater Chicago area.

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