Out of the lecture hall and into the world: The benefits of immersive learning

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At some stage of your secondary education, did you complete a week or two of ‘work experience’? A short-term placement at a business, organization or service that aligned with your career aspirations at the time? Perhaps it was a stint at a community radio station to learn the basics of broadcasting, or shadowing a legal aid practitioner to take your first steps into civil law, or maybe you returned to your primary school to try your hand at being a teacher’s assistant? 

Whatever it was, as your first foray into the professional world beyond after-school jobs, it’s likely this brief period of work experience was memorable and left you with useful skills, even if the workplace in which you completed it in no way aligns with what you’re doing today.

While secondary education usually offers opportunities for hands-on work experience, it’s often the case that non-technical tertiary education does not. If you went to university, how do you recall your time there? Were the subjects you completed for your degree overly theoretical? Perhaps you feel you learned how to complete what you now do for a living by actually doing the work

This is how I look back on my time at uni. Don’t get me wrong — the knowledge I obtained during the completion of my degrees was excellent — but today universities across the world are increasingly acknowledging the myriad benefits and importance of immersive learning. 

Here at Livit, we support immersive learning through a range of collaborations. Read on to find out more.   

A more inclusive and accessible learning experience

Also known as experiential or simulation-based learning, immersive learning is an educational approach that engages the user through interactive experiences in virtual environments. Here at Livit, we also see immersive learning experiences as those that enable us to step into real-life  learning environments that are usually beyond our day-to-day realms, such as internships, study abroad programs, or curated trips. 

Whether for educational or work-related training purposes, it’s easy to see that traditional classrooms, tutorial rooms and lecture halls rely heavily on aural and written learning styles. However, we all know that each of us has unique characteristics that impact how we process and retain information. For those whose learning styles differ, these traditional educational environments can have serious limitations. 

Take, for example, those who learn best with the kinesthetic style, which connects the learning process with physical activity, and the visual style, where the learner retains information most effectively when it is presented visually. For many of us, myself included, a more inclusive and accessible learning experience can be found in engaging and interactive content, especially for those who tend to lean more toward the visual and kinesthetic learning styles. 

Ultimately, these types of immersive learning experiences allow us to become active participants in our education, and to pick up a whole new range of hard and soft skills that we wouldn’t have been able to access if we’d never stepped out of the classroom. 

Digital learning solutions bring proven results 

As a tech startup incubator, we work closely with a venture that has immersive learning at its core. Labster, one of our scaleup partners which has a dedicated office here at the Hub, is the world’s leading platform for immersive virtual labs and science simulations. Their engaging, interactive content has been proven to engage students in science, reduce dropout rates, decrease overheads, and improve learning outcomes, and is used by some of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Hong Kong.

For Labster, inclusive learning is key: it supports and engages users by offering popular simulations in multiple languages, features diverse characters on screen, and accommodates hearing and visual impairments. As a people-first and purpose-driven company, Labster is a perfect fit for Livit — we support the platform through services spanning recruitment, fractional business development, and ecosystem, and by being its human resources business partner. 

A professional launchpad

Just like the brief stint of work experience many of us completed back in high school, internships provide numerous benefits. From hands-on, practical experience and skill development to networking and CV expansion, it’s clear why internships have become a popular professional launchpad.

Beyond these work-related skills, they also offer countless opportunities for personal growth:  they enable us to be immersed in and adapt to entirely new environments, work with and learn from diverse teams, and gain an insight into various workplace dynamics.

Through working with dozens of online and offline internship cohorts over the past few years, we have learnt that the ideal timeframe for a project is between two to six months. This provides enough time to reach a project milestone and pick up new skills — which could even be transformed into an ongoing part-time job. 

We regularly see the CVs of fresh graduates prioritized when they are entering the job market with prior work experience, and an internship is one of the most rewarding ways to gain this experience.   

Traveling = learning 

For centuries we’ve known that one of the best ways to learn is by immersing ourselves in another culture. Whether it’s for a few weeks or an entire semester, study abroad programs provide enriching immersive learning opportunities. This is why we collaborate closely with such programs to provide workshops and training on project and human resources management, soft skills, and the leadership skills that can enable tech startups and SMEs to expand their operations through remote hiring initiatives. 

“Bali is one of the hottest environments for entrepreneurs in Asia,” says Hannes Borgwardt, chief representative of Asiabroad Ltd., which operates the study abroad program Asia Exchange. “In collaboration with Livit, we at Asia Exchange enable students worldwide to come and meet some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Bali. Our students love their time at Livit due to their high-quality content, inspiring talks, and deep insights into the daily routines of startups on the island.” 

We also work closely with local and international universities conducting shorter curated study and internship trips for larger student groups. As well as with our dedicated and talented team, Livit’s extensive regional network enables tertiary education institutions to connect with tech startups, NGOs, and leading entrepreneurs across a wide range of sectors, including edtech, sustainability, ecommerce, and fintech.  

Most recently, three Princeton University students spent two months with us here in Bali to take part in our Immersive Entrepreneurship Academy. The student interns supported the operations of Livit’s growth and marketing teams, conducted thorough market research, and crafted a comprehensive trends report. “I learned so much about growing businesses, how to optimize myself for clients and employers, and so much else,” said Michael Squires, one of the participating students. “All will benefit me greatly in the future.”

How to make the most of an immersive learning experience

Whatever form it takes, to maximize your experience, what’s most important is your mindset. When participating in a study program in a foreign country such as Indonesia, it’s likely that others will assume that travel is your priority, with learning coming second. But of course the two are synonymous. 

Being curious and open to whatever your hosts have prepared for you, as well as the moments of discovery you’ll experience at every turn, is the key to immersive learning. 

Can you hire Livit to help you develop your immersive learning initiative? 

Yes you can! 

Options include:

  • Project Manager
  • Entrepreneur in Residence
  • Business Consultant
  • Future Co-founder

So if you’re ready for us to help you implement or improve your experience, please get in touch!

Agnes Kay

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