Immersive learning uses a computer-based simulated environment to replicate a real-life or hypothetical situation in a graphically rich and dynamic environment. Students are immersed and involved in the learning process through interactive simulations and game-based applications. Immersive learning supports one student or multiple small teams working together to solve a problem, rehearse techniques or enhance their skills. Through the use of enabling objectives and scripting, student actions and responses can be monitored and tested to ensure the objectives have been met. It can be web-based utilising distributed training or downloaded to standalone computers or mobile devices.
Serious games and virtual worlds, both examples of immersive learning, are designed to engage students in a wide range of educational activities. Serious games use elements of game-play to train and educate. They allow mission planning and rehearsal exercises that can be replicated on demand.
Virtual worlds use online communities through which users can interact with others in the form of avatars, which are graphical representations of people, and 3D images.
SACT is currently developing immersive learning courses to support maritime boarding operations, NATO targeting, security and newcomer familiarisation with NATO procedures. Current serious game technologies include a visualisation of Computer Assisted Exercises (CAX) as well as C-IED training. These courses aim to improve NATO’s ability to train and educate using the best proven methods and practices in learning technologies that support students with a simulation that replicates their working environment.