What did you think of the moment you read the heading of this post? If you are like most learning professionals, you probably pictured the pyramid with Bloom’s Cognitive domain of thinking skills. Makes sense – most of us spend our time using this model to create courses that help employees remember, apply, and make judgments about factual or procedural information. When choosing modalities for this kind of content, we are very comfortable using technology as part of our learning design. But what happens when we have content that falls under the other two domains of Bloom’s Taxonomy? Here’s a refresher:
When faced with learning content that requires practicing physical motions or getting learners to change automatic behaviors driven by value systems, instructional designers typically default to using the classroom. At most, they will include eLearning or 2D video as part of a blended approach or in a flipped classroom model. The primary modality though, will probably be role plays and practice in a classroom/lab situation.
While there are apparent benefits of the hands-on classroom approach, there are some situations where it is either not feasible, or there are gaps in meeting all levels in the domain. For example:
- For psychomotor skills, while you can have an expert demonstrate and have participants practice a task by imitation, the limited amount of time in the classroom never gets them to the level of precision
- For affective skills, change in behavior – especially interpersonal interactions – needs the learner to be open to changing their mindsets. Role-plays can go a long way, but in the sterile environment of the classroom, the intensity of emotion is often toned down. Learners know they are playing a part, and while each later describes what they saw and felt, given the public nature of the classroom, not everyone feels comfortable sharing at the level of values and beliefs.
If you have content like this, consider using XR as a modality. Here are the top three benefits that XR can provide for Psychomotor and Affective content.
- 3D spatial awareness and context – watching a 2D video of an expert performing a job is one thing, but being able to view the process in 3D from the expert’s perspective is another. Watch this immersive training experience on how to train a new barista to make a Latte. And if there is a need for practicing taking apart and putting something together again to a level of precision, you could even try Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality that allows for actually interacting with virtual objects.
- Perspectives and Empathy – in a classroom, you can have at most one or two opportunities for a learner to practice a skill in a role play. In XR, a learner can participate in a role-play as many times as they like, and from as many different perspectives as you create. Learning how to interview without bias? Practice as an interviewer, and then see the effect of your choices on the interviewee. Watch this immersive training experience on unconscious bias training for interviews.
- Data-driven feedback – in the classroom, a facilitator or observer gives you feedback based on what they see you do. Excellent facilitators don’t miss much, but they are challenging to scale. XR, on the other hand, can help you track a surprising amount of data that even the best facilitators may miss. For example:
- Eye-tracking – how impactful would it be if you took a XR course on preventing harassment in the workplace, and the program told you that you spent 39.4% of the time, *not* looking at people’s faces, but, umm… somewhere else?
- Response time tracking – when learning skills that require fast response times, VR can show improvement over time.
- Biometrics and biofeedback – XR applications in the medical and gaming field are already using these to help in things like pain management and overcoming fears
Learners need time to practice skills in the psychomotor domain, and you need to create an environment where they can address the elements of the affective domain without fear judgment. XR helps you address both these needs by creating a safe space where learners can practice in private, try, fail, and then try again as many times as they need.
So what do you think? Want to try to develop XR for your use case? Contact us to start discussing potential use cases and how you can best apply the technology.