Analyst Insight – Leveraging Learning Science: Why Extended Reality (xR) is Poised to Disrupt Corporate Learning and Development


Author: Todd Maddox
April 2019

Key Stakeholders:
Chief Learning Officers, Chief Human Resource Officers, Chief People Officer, Chief Talent Officer, Learning & Development Directors and Managers, Corporate Trainers, Content and Learning Product Managers, Hiring Directors, Hiring Managers, Human Resource Directors, Human Resource Managers.

Why It Matters:
A major goal of corporate Learning and Development (L&D) is to build scalable tools that facilitate hard and behavioral (soft and technical) skills mastery. Mastery is most effectively achieved through experiential learning and repetition that engages multiple learning systems in the brain in synchrony and facilitates the development of situational awareness.

Top Takeaway:

Compared to traditional learning tools, extended reality (xR) technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, speed the development of mastery and expertise through repeated experiential learning that broadly engages multiple learning systems in the brain in synchrony and is scalable.

This report is available for personal use at no cost for readers with valid corporate, organizational, government, or educational email addresses until April 10th.


In this Analyst Insight, Todd Maddox, Ph.D. provides guidance on why Augmented and Virtual Reality are set to disrupt corporate learning. This report focuses on a learning science evaluation of the potential for extended reality (xR) technologies to disrupt corporate L&D and show how xR technologies have the potential to improve the quality and quantity of training, to accelerate learning and enhance retention in all aspects of corporate learning to provide the following benefits:

  • Lead to faster learning and stronger retention all while reducing training time.
  • Train a broad-range of core competencies (e.g., hard skills, soft skills and situational awareness) in a time-effective, cost-effective and scalable manner.
  • Train on expensive, dangerous and rare situations in total safety and to expertise.
  • Provide a window onto the learning process through subjective, objective, attention, and engagement metrics that fully take advantage of all the data that can be measured.
  • Develop more effective, efficient, and valuable learning environments.