Augmented Reality (AR) Training uses interactive digital elements to enhance learning experiences. This immersive technology provides ‘virtual’ hands-on training for learners and sharpens their skills needed for the job.
There are several steps for developing an AR Training program. The first four steps include:
- Step 1: Outline Your Training Program Goals
- Step 2: Determine the Type of AR You Need
- Step 3: Choose an Augmented Reality Training Partner
- Step 4: Project Plan and Get Building
Tired of seeing other organizations use augmented reality for training? Ready to see your organization reap the rewards, but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. In this article, we will review what augmented reality training is and how you can develop a training program for your organization.
What is Augmented Reality Training?
Augmented Reality (AR) adds interactive, digital elements to a live, real-world environment through a phone, tablet, or headset. You can use your device to manipulate the computer-generated objects in a 3D space, seeing everything as if it were in front of you, and more because you can see inside objects or manipulate the object size.
This immersive technology can provide ‘virtual’ hands-on training for deeper objective understanding and allow employees to sharpen the skills needed for the job.
Whether your organization needs to develop technical skills like maintenance and repair or upgrade onboarding and change management initiatives, AR is a solution that captivates all generations of workers.
Developing Your Training Program with Augmented Reality
Now that you know what augmented reality is and how it’s used in learning and development let’s start building your program.
Step 1: Outline Your Training Program Goals
Developing augmented reality training for your organization begins much like the process for developing any training. You must first outline your training program goals. Start by asking yourself: “What are we doing, and why are we doing it?” You can create a fully comprehensive training program, but if you don’t have any goals set, how will you measure your success?
As you finalize your training goals, you should feel reaffirmed in your choice for AR – the distinct qualities of AR should match your training goals and the needs of your audience.
- Do you need something accessible?
- Do you need something that’s ultra engaging?
- Do you want to offer your audience the ability to virtually deconstruct an object?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you’re on the right track with AR. If you find your training goals and audience needs don’t exactly line up with AR, perhaps you need a different modality, be it instructor-led training, eLearning, or virtual reality training.
Step 2: Determine the Type of AR You Need
Once you’ve set your training goals and confirmed that AR is the best technology for the training initiative, you should further define the type of AR you need.
There is AR Image Targeting, which involves the overlay of 2D video, text, pictures, or 3D objects onto 2D images of the real world. It’s an excellent choice for on-the-job performance aid, as it provides memorable content that users can access quickly.
Another type is AR Ground Plane Object Breakaway. This technology allows users to interact with a 3D model of an object. It’s best suited for users who need to familiarize themselves with an object or piece of equipment. They can even take objects apart piece by piece and reassemble them — without facing real-world risk.
Then there’s AR Scenario Training, which adds an element of advanced instructional design via branched learning. Users can interact with the AR technology and advance through the training experience on separate learning paths based on their decisions.
Step 3: Choose an Augmented Reality Training Partner
At this point, you’re ready to find an augmented reality training partner to bring your vision to life. Consider the type of AR you need and look for companies that either specialize in it or offer it as part of their services. Some partners may offer only AR Image Targeting, for example, while another might be fluent in all three applications of AR training technology.
It’s also important to choose a partner that is reputable and reliable. Consider asking:
- To see their portfolio
- For pricing information upfront
- If they have won any awards for their work
- To see case studies of past projects or a reference list
- If they have any ratings or reviews
In addition, be sure to work out the logistics of the training.
- Do you have the equipment you need to deploy the training to your users? Think headsets, tablets, smartphones, etc.
- Do you have the space to deploy the training?
Discuss this with your AR training partners, as they should be able to help you to think through every detail of the project.
Step 4: Project Plan and Get Building!
Once you’ve come to an agreement with an AR training partner, the time has come to the project plan and start building. Depending on the contract with the training partner, your role in this step could be light, medium, or heavy.
Regardless, it’s a good idea to have a certified project manager involved in the process. They will help to ensure boundaries and expectations are set, and they will help to keep the project on track.
Step 5: Pilot the Training
The remaining four steps are similar for any training project you’re implementing. With an initial build of the program complete, you should perform a pilot test. Run a small pilot group through your program, watch your timing, what works, what doesn’t, and how the group reacts to your content and technology. Take notes and request tons of feedback from your students.
Don’t despair if you have to make changes; you should expect that. It’s the only way to get better.
Step 6: Fine-Tune and Launch
Review what happened with the pilot and make your updates. Hopefully, you don’t have significant changes, such as updating content or realigning the learning objectives.
Use your notes and your student feedback to update your program. Be sure to leverage your subject matter experts and learning partners.
Step 7: Encourage and Support Your Employees to Complete the Program
Now it’s time to launch your program! Work with the leaders and influencers of your organization to build excitement and to get people enrolled. Build a robust support system to allow employees to take the time and focus on the content you have developed for them, use incentives, and fun promotions to make a big splash!
Step 8: Evaluate Results and Program Effectiveness
After your program has been running, it’s time to measure the results and the effectiveness.
What to look for:
- What is the completion rate?
- Are the learning objectives being retained?
- Are they using what they learned?
Find those critical Key Performance Indicators and use them to measure the success of your program. Don’t be afraid to make updates; it may be necessary to keep up with changing processes, policies, or students’ learning styles.
Are You Ready for the Next Step?
We covered what you need to know to launch your own AR training program – Interested in enhancing your existing training with AR? There’s nothing else to do but get started.