Virtual Reality Training is the digital simulation of lifelike scenarios for training purposes. Trainees enter a 360°, active learning environment, experiencing sights and sounds that dissolve the barrier between virtual and actual reality. Using the headset and controllers, trainees look, speak, and move about freely in a 3D virtual setting, interacting with simulated real-world tools, machinery, and other trainees and instructors.
Critically, with Virtual Reality, workplace scenarios that were once too difficult, expensive, or dangerous to train for, (such as emergency protocols and disaster preparedness, hazardous material spills, realistic heights training, etc.), become vastly more practical, cost-effective, and safe in an immersive simulation. When combined with story narratives and learning curriculum developed by subject matter experts, the result is trainees learning in the best way possible — through personal experience — significantly improving learning retention, job performance, team collaboration, workplace safety, and cost.
The effectiveness of Virtual Reality Training (or any training, for that matter), depends on the quality of the training being offered. Research shows four critical things are needed for any successful training experience, virtual or otherwise: realistic practice, spaced repetitions, contextualized scenarios, and critical feedback. As experiential learning, Virtual Reality is delivering out-sized benefits for enterprise training programs, including:
- Improvements in job performance
- Dramatic reductions in on-the-job human errors
- Increases in learning retention
- Reductions in time needed to train compared to traditional training methods
- Elimination of the cost and risk of unnecessary travel
- Enhanced team decision-making, workplace safety, and collaboration
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Increasing Popularity of VR
Virtual Reality has become an increasingly valuable tool in learning and development, allowing your education to extend beyond an eLearning course or classroom setting. In a report by eMarketer, it’s estimated that 42.9 million people will use VR, and 68.7 million will use AR at least once per month.
Custom VR training simulates any world you can imagine, enabling your learners to encounter true-to-life scenarios without facing real-world risk. You can develop a shared experience for your remote team, let learners interact with virtual scenes and hazards, and provide a safe space to practice technical and hands-on work.
VR Corporate Training uses can include:
- Scenario-Based Learning – Refine soft skills with a first-person perspective of real-life customer situations. Create a realistic sense of a tense situation and learn how to make critical decisions.
- Technical Skills – Teach employees how to assemble products or complicated machinery by allowing them to interact with a recreation. Prompt them to physically walk around an environment and, using hand-held controllers, pick up virtual objects, push virtual buttons, and more.
- Multi-Step Tasks – Work through troubleshooting products and repair equipment by outlining the steps and guiding the learner to work through the problem step by step.
- Onboarding – Introduce new employees by showing them the ins and outs of the business, shop floor, process, and more from their own training room.
- Simulations – Military, aviation, and law enforcement are great examples of simulation-based training where you can work on reactions in hazardous situations without actually being in danger.
Benefits of Virtual Reality Training
It is a safe learning environment. Users can give their employees a safe learning environment where they can take risks without affecting customers or the business. Exciting and Engaging – VR is new to most people, when you tell your employees that they get to use VR, it will create a buzz and get people excited to use the technology and participate in the development program. Adaptable – Almost everyone can use VR technology; it doesn’t matter their body type, location, or even language. You can adapt your program to make it accessible to all of your employees.
Disadvantages of Virtual Reality Training
Physical Side Effects – Not everyone is able to participate in virtual reality programs. Some people will get headaches, nausea, eye strain, or even worse symptoms.
High-Cost – The start-up cost for virtual reality training systems can be higher than alternatives. Between the hardware, designing, programming, etc. it may be daunting to your leadership team.
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