The Singapore government has placed a strong emphasis on the importance of upskilling and reskilling employees in order to drive the nation towards an advanced economy. Consequentially in 2020, the International Monetary Fund has classified Singapore as an advanced economy together with 37 other countries around the world. The question now lies in whether or not Singaporean employees are well-equipped with skills to be ready for an advanced economy. 

With the ongoing pandemic, the working culture in Singapore had gravitated towards being remote-based or employees having a more flexible working schedule. Hence, it is becoming increasingly difficult for employers to conduct efficient, easily accessible and cost-effective learning and development (L&D) training for their employees. Traditional face-to-face workshops, which require employees to be brought together, are no longer an option. Furthermore, this method is often faced with low employee engagement and low active participation,  decreasing learning effectiveness. 

We discuss how ACKTEC is making immersive learning accessible

However, the advancement of technology has shown that the development of immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are able to drive learning effectiveness amongst learners. 

How can immersive technologies benefit L&D training? 

Facilitation of active learning 

Active learning has been a term often coined with immersive learning. A key trait that sets active learning apart is that it focuses on the learner’s experience, apart from the content learnt. The active stimulation of recalling while learning would lead to an increase in learner’s retention and better understanding of new skill sets. 

For a long time, the 70-20-10 model for L&D has been used by companies to formulate training strategies. The usage of immersive technologies is able to address the large part of the model, 70% of acquisition of knowledge in learners is through the learning from experience. Immersive technologies, such as VR and AR, facilitate active learning through its ability to replicate real-life situations, allowing learners to fully experience and interact with the simulated  situation. Furthermore, these immersive experiences eliminates the risk that comes with making mistakes in a real-world setting, further encouraging learners to repeatedly practice the skills taught due to the perceived safe environment created. Hence, fully immersive learning and the ability to repeatedly simulate real-world scenarios would drive employees’ theory learning effectiveness, while also training their practical skills. 

Ability to track employee’s performance 

The remote-based working culture has highlighted the need for organisations to have a platform to effectively track employee’s performance. By closely monitoring employee’s L&D performance, companies are able to effectively ensure that reskilling or upskilling of employees are occuring. This way, employers or L&D trainers are able to track the progress of their employees and identify any uncertainties or mistakes made, and then personalise the subsequent training needed. ACKTEC Class, a learning management system, allows businesses to observe tangible results to measure their return of investment based on the real-time employee’s performance data. 

Essentially, the ability to collect tangible results on employees’ upskilling or re-skilling performance  would act as a motivator for employees during L&D training. Since employers are able to track employees’ performance, this would mean that they are also able to identify employees who showed stellar performance and provide positive reinforcements such as promotions, bonuses, pay-raise or even e-certificates. Even without these positive reinforcements, study has shown that the frequent monitoring of goals and improvement from their past and present performance will continue to help employees stay motivated and have a higher chance of succeeding if tangible tracking was conducted. 

Less distraction and more focus from the learner  

Traditionally, employees in the relatively high facilitator and employee ratio face-to-face workshops were often faced with distractions from peers or their environment. Facilitators are constantly competing with these distractions in order to get the employee’s attention. Especially since these workshops are usually occurring in a physical workplace setting where there are many ongoing tasks and projects, the abundance of distractions within might prevent employees from being 100% focused on their training or reskilling. 

Immersive technologies, especially VR, are able to fully engage the learner’s attention by giving them little chance to be exposed to the surrounding distractions. This forces them to be fully focused on the single task at hand, which is learning by fully engaging with the simulated real-life situation. With that being said, only when employees are fully immersed in the experience are they able to perform three times better than those who are not fully immersed. 

Success story of integrating immersive technologies 

Currently, ACKTEC has worked with over 81 clients and has more than 750k active users. The highly immersive education technologies provided by ACKTEC improved retention rates while also decreasing the cost of training and down-time when it comes to new employee training. Particularly, their experience working with BYD, an automobile company setting up a new factory in an ASEAN country, helped reduce cost by 3 to 5 times. This was achieved through the quicker onboarding of new employees and the immersive technologies used which increases employees’ learning efficiency.

The integration of immersive learning has shown to help businesses ensure that their employees are ready and quick to adapt their skill-set to cater to the advanced economy within Singapore. This is especially crucial in Singapore where it’s known for its fast-changing working environment. Immersive technology is able to improve traditional L&D methods through its ability to quicken the process while still ensuring higher retention rates of employees.

About the author

Rayvan is a seasoned entrepreneur in the education industry. He has set up and grown two successful startups that have expanded regionally. Armed with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering (Hons) with a minor in Technopreneurship & Business from NUS, Rayvan has set up several schools in Singapore, Laos and Indonesia, as well as forged partnerships between overseas schools. As a passionate educator and entrepreneur, he is always seeking to find out what is the current pedagogy and how technology can help to steepen the learning curve of any individual. 

In 2015, he started ACKTEC, a Edutech company whose mission is to develop in all their students the passion to learn, the confidence to become self-directed and to micro-learn through technology. In August 2018, his company clinched 2nd runner-up in mobile learning during an event organised by the MOE SSG Institute of Adult Learning. In Nov 2018, he was invited as a speaker and panelist to EdTechX Global 2018 in Beijing to speak about “Harnessing AI to advance Education”. Rayvan is always looking to contribute back towards education and business. As such he is also a key Advisor to several Education Institutions in Singapore, Laos & Jakarta and a Committe Member of the Youth Business Affair Committee, from the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI).