Why we will never have to study again!
The future of learning lies in experiencing. Why this is so and why the fastest translator of focused, experiential learning will lead a revolution is summarized here. Everything starts with the transfer problem.
85 percent do not apply learning content: the transfer problem
In most cases, new things cannot be learned sustainably. Shortly after a lesson, we forget too much about the just-heard or read skillset and mindset – and both would be fully necessary to master a new ability. Scientist and internationally recognized expert on evaluation and learning effectiveness Robert Brinkerhoff points out in 2016: Only 15 percent of all learners can apply newly acquired skills, 70 percent try to apply them but fall back into old patterns and 15 percent cannot apply newly learned skills. That this can lead to coarse problems in a variety of situations is plausible.
Highly regulated industries suffer the most
This becomes particularly clear in the highly regulated pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Cleanroom operators, for example, have to stick to a myriad of rules during their often multi-hour operations, yet still have to focus and work efficiently. If an arm movement is carried out too quickly, air turbulence can lead to germ contamination. Surfaces that are not disinfected using the right wiping technique will also endanger production, product and, in the worst case, patient life. Two examples to illustrate how much the highly regulated industries need good training. A cleanroom operator must have the one hundred percent focused skillset needed to perform the cleanroom operations correctly, and he needs a mindset that helps him deal with, for example, nervousness during incidents or fatigue during long operations. Today's teaching methods – from e-learning to the training facility – cannot provide such training.
The pharmaceutical production in our example has the same problems again and again around the world: loss of quality – which leads to the destruction of unsafe batches, production stoppages due to incidents, shortage of personnel - because good employees have to be used as trainers - and perhaps most seriously: A bad relationship with the local health authority. It depends on FDA and Co. whether production may or may not continue, so no deficiencies should be noted in the periodic reviews.
Applying 100 percent of the learning content: How do we do it?
The goal of modern training must be in our view: 85 percent can apply newly learned skills and the remaining 15 percent can do so with repetition. In the end, nearly 100 percent of the skillset and mindset should have been learned and internalized in order to be used confidently. Today we are at a point where we can say with confidence that this goal is within reach. Why? Part of the answer we have had since the 1940s – since researcher Edgar Dale made clear with the cone of experience, how we generally learn best. How much do we remember after reading a text? Dale's research shows: Not even 10 percent. When we hear something, it's 20 percent when seeing and hearing around 50 percent, when we say something ourselves, we remember about 70 percent of it. If we want to remember around 90 – 100 percent, according to Dale, only one thing remains: "Doing the real thing". But today, we know that in order to really purposefully learn, we have to do "the real thing" in a very focused way. It takes more: a completely safe training environment, no distraction, absolute focus – and many more features. This new way of learning and training is called DeepTraining.
DeepTraining means focused, purposeful experiences
To fulfill Edgar Dale's promise, the following is necessary: a focused experience-based training in skillset (what to do in the key moment) and mindset (which principles do I have to consider at the key moment). How can we do that?
First, let's talk about the experience-based part, paying attention to two phenomena called simulated experience and presence. Virtual reality technology today makes it possible to produce simulations that are sufficiently realistic. Sufficiently means in the learning context: The brain can no longer distinguish between experiences in a simulation and experiences of reality. This is possible when clever use is made of Virtual Reality Technology (VR) , psychology and staging techniques to simulate truly credible scenarios. Presence is the feeling of being here, in this case in the reality of simulation. A feeling that is hard to understand for someone who has not experienced Virtual Reality in a truly high-quality execution.
Experience-based learning: We make experiences in simulated space, the brain saves them as real experiences, and thus, without actual activity in the real world, employees become actually experienced. Let's take the previous example – of pharmaceutical production. Here, many details in the training design play important roles – from the right amount of tension to the accurate implementation of a meaningful learning environment. These and many other details lead to the aforementioned focus of such training – in simulation, we can decide what is experienced and only experience what is really necessary to learn a skill. Without any distraction.
We will be able to learn nearly everything through experience
By experiencing learning content, we will be able to learn much more efficiently in the future. We will face many more key moments in our world of work and life confidently – knowing we already have experience. The simulated experience of DeepTraining is better suited to acquiring skillset and mindset in many areas than any other form of learning. That's why we'll all have to study and cram much less in the future.