Integration of VR/AR/XR into Festo LX - Are Immersive Technologies the Future of Online Technical Training?
Sommersemester 2021 / Festo Didactic
Our project partner Festo Didactic is a global leader in basic training in the industrial sector and a provider of skill development for manufacturing and process automation. The services they offer range from educational equipment for training facilities to training and advice for industrial production companies. Festo LX (Learning Experience) is a newly launched educational and training tool created by Festo Didactic. It is an online portal for teachers and learners to access and create a customized learning experience. Our project was related to outlining the possibilities for the integration of immersive technologies, namely Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR), into Festo LX.
The main goal of this project was to present an overview on the possibilities for integration of VR and AR content into existing online learning platforms and learning management systems, as well as a market and competitor analysis, in order to serve as an input for the development of a strategy paper for Festo. For this to be achieved, a current trend analysis for the integration of XR applications was outlined, an overview of the international competition of Festo LX in the areas of online learning and gamification was presented, as well as a forecast of the VR and AR market in education and training for the next 2-3 years.
In order to achieve the project goal, both primary and secondary research were conducted. The secondary research for this project was presented in the form of a market research, including 30 different sources, and a competitor analysis of Festo LX. In order to validate the findings from the secondary research, primary research was conducted in the form of semi-structured interviews. The main target group for the interview partners were tutors, experts on immersive technologies, and representatives of big companies. In order to analyze and evaluate the content of the interviews, the Qualitative Content Analysis according to Mayring (2000) was used.
The advancements in technology and the reduction in costs have allowed for the increased adoption of immersive technologies in the training sector. With cheap but high-quality standalone headsets, such as the Oculus Quest 2, training in simulated virtual environments has become easier than ever. The market for immersive technologies in education and training is only expected to grow in the future, becoming a multi-billion-dollar industry in the next decade. Both VR and AR possess numerous potentials for training, such as increased engagement in the training process, steeper learning curves, better information retention, learning by doing, and much more. VR in particular allows the users to see and do things they would not be able to experience under normal circumstances. AR could be used to simulate machines or other objects for the users to grasp their size, shape, and other dimensions. Both VR and AR can be integrated into a learning management system as a supplement to the already created content to elevate the learning process. Gamification elements, such as points, levels, badges and feedback, have the potential to increase motivation and engagement and make the virtual training experience even better. Currently, many big international companies such as Shell, Walmart and Volkswagen are using immersive technologies to train their staff and employees. In conclusion, it can be said that immersive technologies are indeed the future of technical training and education.
Festo Didactic SE
Dr. Ute Gebhard
Caroline Fabian, M.Sc.
Shtefi Mladenovska, M.Sc.