Is Virtual Learning the Future of Work?

Last year, the work environment changed. Social distancing restrictions mean that many people have to work from home. This affects the work of many departments, especially in training.

Data from the Office for National Statistics show that in April 2020, 46.4% of employed people worked at home. Of these people, 86% did so because of the pandemic.

At the same time, virtual learning opportunities have flooded several career fields. Learning in the workplace has been recognized as essential for business growth. Technology has always been the main driving force behind innovation in the learning environment, and computers have opened access to knowledge for everyone.

In the LinkedIn Workplace learning report, 94% of employees said that if their company invests in their career development, they will stay with the company longer. Interaction with employees is essential to promote this retention, where virtual learning opportunities mean that new training methods can be widely used. Today, employees can study at home, gain a deeper understanding of their work, and more easily use digital and technological methods to hone their skills.

The shift to e-learning shows the potential for more digital training in the future. Here, we look at the benefits of adopting digital platforms for people and workplaces, and what the future of virtual training will bring:

1. Virtual Training for Practical Understanding:

There are many work environments that can be complex, such as factories with machines. This complexity can lead to potential safety risks for workers. While studying textbooks is certainly an important part of any professional's job, using digital learning tools can be a safer and more convenient way to get hands-on experience.

Using lasers and real images, the factory environment can be reproduced in a virtual learning world. Workers can then explore the space without setting foot in the actual factory or impacting work operations. In addition, 3D models can be created to recreate equipment and machines with which workers will interact. Practitioners will be able to press buttons and locate tools without any physical risk if something goes wrong with the machine - it's just pixels!

In the virtual world, such examples can be viewed from a safe distance. These simulations can reproduce a malfunction situation that cannot be demonstrated on a physical device.

2. Fusion of Reality:

When you think of virtual reality, you can think of headsets and videos. But, in fact, technology is getting rich fast. New branches of virtual technology, such as augmented reality, can be a useful training tool for people who work from home. For example, thanks to augmented reality technology, engineers and architects can even see a scale model of their work before turning it into a prototype.

How does it work? Augmented reality is very simple, it is a method of superimposing the digital world to the real world. With cameras, computers, and phones, you can overlay images to the real world, such as placing a 3D model of your design on your desktop. This allows you to "see" the product in all dimensions without having to render it from a 2D sketch on paper. Being able to see the model from literally all angles allows you to identify problems that may go unnoticed. You can even add an interface to the model, so you can interact by touch or method.

Being able to participate in active learning helps improve test scores. A study shows that when students use active learning as part of their learning, test scores increase by 6%. On the other hand, students who use traditional teaching methods are 1.5 times more likely to fail.

3. Conference in the Virtual World:

One aspect of virtual work that everyone has experienced in the last 12 months is video conferencing and meetings. Both Microsoft Teams and Zoom experienced rapid downloads during the pandemic; In the UK, Google search trend data shows that "Microsoft Teams" increased by 742% between January 2020 and March 2020.

Video calls on these platforms allow the workplace to continue to operate remotely. With the help of digital meeting rooms, collaboration continues to flourish and training courses can be carried out as planned by moving to a virtual environment. These events can also be recorded for future review.

As time goes by and companies increasingly adopt digital learning, we can look forward to the development of this technology. For example, virtual reality opens the door for digital avatars to meet in a digital office and rebuilds the sense of connection between colleagues, even if they work remotely. Virtual reality training can now be used to do this, supporting collaborative work regardless of physical distance.

Virtual learning will definitely stay and improve. With the continuous advancement of technology, we will see more immersive experiences. From enhanced collaboration to intelligent simulation, the workplace is embracing the virtual world.

The potential for virtual learning in the future is huge. As processing power increases, our virtual experience will become more immersive, which means that teaching methods can be improved as well. Whether through intelligent simulation or enhanced collaboration, the growth of virtual learning in the workplace can bring benefits to all departments.

Reference: Open Access Government - Is virtual learning the future of work?

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