• Sibel Dağdeviren Özüağ

Augmented Reality in Corporate Learning

To start from the very beginning, let's try to share the simplest definition of AR:

AR is the technology which enables adding digital information (images, videos, etc) to the real, physical life.

Estimated to be around US$120 billion by the year 2020, this recent technology has been in use in different industries for a while now: marketing, retail, medical surgery, gaming, etc. And I believe the most known example is the PokemonGo app which went viral all over the world as of the first day it was released. Instagram filters adding extra objects to photos (you may watch this video for more information) would also represent a good example for use of AR in daily life.

AR has also started to be actively used in the education industry. To exemplify, Kartoon3D is a sound example from Turkey, and has won a national start-up contest this year.

In addition to education field, AR has started to gain attention with regards to corporate learning as well. In the ATD May 2018 annual international conference, AR was presented among the future trends in the field of corporate learning and development. There are, however, few practical applications of AR so far related to adult learners although the opportunities offered by AR are various.

Reasons to Deploy Augmented Reality in Corporate Learning

AR addresses the organizations as it increases learning efficiency and retention, enables learning transfer, and is cost efficient especially when it's compared to VR. This technology addresses also the learners since it meets the following needs of the modern learners, as published in the 2018 Workplace Learning Report by LinkedIn:

  • Learning any time and anywhere.

  • Learning at the time of the need.

  • Learning at one's own pace.

Possible Use Cases of AR in Corporate Learning

AR would definitely be a good investment for L&D professionals to design creative and innovative content even in the case of shortening budgets.

Although the number of AR use cases could increase over time as this technology is still at its infancy stage and requires much more time to be fully explored, below I would like to share some possible use cases of AR in the field of corporate learning:

  1. Explanatory videos or materials could be integrated into course books to elaborate on any information remaining unclear to the learner.

  2. Learning contents which are abstract by nature (electricity, light current, etc.) could be turned into tangible experience thanks to AR technology.

  3. As part of onboarding programs, new hires could scan the photo of anyone in the organization chart and hear their own words as to who they are, what they do, etc.

  4. Training content reminder materials could be designed and implemented into the most popular places of the office to remind of the most critical learning goals for each training or module.

  5. Mentorship practices could be leveraged with AR technology so that whenever the mentee (or "protégé") needs guidance, they can have their mentor's encouraging support at anywhere and anytime.

  6. With regards to functional trainings, informative contents could be created and presented in related parts of the working environment. For instance, the use of specific resources/materials in an office, plant, laboratory, etc. environment could be provided next to each resource/material to contribute to employees' overall performance.

  7. Following a thorough training, simple "how to" tips could be designed to support the new team members working in the field: engineers in manifacturing, sales representatives, etc. The tips could be placed in places where the employees would need the related information the most.

  8. HSE trainings could be delivered with support of AR to enable participants "experience" each possible emergency case and thus, become aware of their development areas and points of action.

Let's share and learn together! Please add in the comments if you can think of any other use cases of AR in corporate learning.