Posted by: Jacob Everist | February 10, 2009

Immersive Learning Benefits

Karl Kapp started an interesting discussion on what exactly the benefits of immersive learning are. He called it learning in 3D worlds. I called it situated learning but I got this term from my background in AI and robotics.

Interestingly, his list of benefits are almost exactly the conclusions I made on my own. The one benefit he was missing I mentioned in the comments is that immersive worlds allow users to communicate with each other non-verbally in ways they couldn’t do otherwise online. In particular, body language and expressions which are lost when only interacting with text, voice, or webcams.

Another commenter named Gaby, said in her comment that users have been known to unconsciously develop subtle new methods of social behavior within the virtual worlds they live in. I think that’s fascinating and it kind of confirms my intuition.

This tells me that there is definitely potential for developing high impact learning environments if we understand the rules of human behavior and learn to exploit them.

My particular interest is language learning and has been the project I’ve been working on for the past 2 years. Hopefully I’ll be able to show off what I’ve been working on soon enough 🙂

Update: Gaby finally posted in her blog about this subject. I didn’t see it earlier. She adds her two contributions of the water cooler effect, people bantering with each other in the interstitial moments of training, and the fun factor, that being people are more engaged.

I’ve found the latter to be a double-edged generational sword. Particularly in East Asia, education is considered hard work. If something is fun, it is not taken seriously. Of course, this probably doesn’t apply as much to the young who are more open to different approaches.

However, something can be engaging, but not necessarily perceived as fun. That’s a little bit of psychological kung-fu that you need to get good at if you’re targeting these more conservative people.




  1. […] Jacob Everist has a background from living in Taiwan and China and writes in his blog that “Particularly in East Asia, education is considered hard work. If something is fun, it […]

  2. Hi Jacob, I am so sorry that I mistakingly wrote you lived in Taiwan and China (that was a commentor in your profile page). I corrected it 🙂 It’s really interesting that we can draw these parallels between Germans and East Asians in some ways. But to give my fellow Germans credit where it is due: there is a whole new generation of those who embrace new informal learning techniques – not only in learning but in teaching also.

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