Virtual Reality training is no longer a thing of science fiction. According to a 2021 report, 75% of business leaders anticipate using Augmented or Virtual Reality by 2023. VR Training solutions have become a powerful way to revamp traditional training methods, and it’s as cost-effective as ever. So what are the benefits of VR training?
People learn by doing. No amount of time looking at a computer screen or watching a video presentation is going to compare to actually performing the steps needed from training. Virtual reality allows trainees to get the hands-on experience they need.
Actual Research to Support
A Baylor study took 20 subjects and taught them a fire safety procedure. Half with traditional methods (video presentation and reading) and half with a VR training experience. A week after their training they were all given a memory test with mock scenarios, and 70% of the VR group performed the right sequence of steps compared to 20% of the video group.
This memory recollection test is a great showcase of how impactful experiential learning can be. This memory retention is possible because of the distraction-free environment VR training provides. Virtual reality training exercises stick in people’s minds significantly more than real-world versions or text-based learning materials, especially if they’re experiential learners. And when memory retention’s you’re main goal, a VR experience can be a powerful tool. Trainees get realistic technical skill practice in VR. Plus, it’s exciting and engaging!
Make the Impossible
Modern virtual reality training solutions create a realistic digital environment for trainees. Need to recreate the complex intricacies of a maintenance panel? Traditionally designing and creating a training version could cost a hefty fee, not even mentioning the cost of producing multiple versions to scale across an entire L&D program.
With VR, virtual environments can house as many pieces of hardware at whatever scale you’d like all at the same cost. Especially once a framework has been developed, adding new procedures, objects, or environments to your training can be designed and deployed within a few days. And why stop there? Want to have confetti go off when a trainee does something right, or let trainees learn on the moon? The only limitation is your imagination.
Once you’re no longer held back by the limitations of the real world, you’re allowed to focus on the actual training experience trainees will have. You know exactly what their experience will be like, allowing the opportunity to create experiences that invoke a truly emotional and physiological response with infinite scalability.
Support exploration and Trial & Error
Training scenarios click with trainees when they know exactly how their actions affect the tools around them. It’s critical for trainees to have the opportunity to explore what will happen when they do something that’s wrong. Sure, a video lecture can tell trainees what can go wrong, but it’s hard to beat seeing it actually happen in front of you.
Virtual Reality is a great training tool in this way. When a virtual environment is made realistically, and mistakes have direct consequences trainees truly really comprehend what to do and what’s not ideal. The virtual environment exists as a space where they can learn these new skills in a way that’s exciting, engaging, and safe.
Another one of the benefits of VR training is the ability for trainees to learn what they need to at their pace. If a certain training scenario is a challenge, it’s easy to reset a scenario from the beginning. If a trainee is confident in a process, they can jump to a final procedure test.
In addition, VR training applications can track metrics in trainee performance, allowing for the experience to adjust to their needs. If a trainee is struggling consistently with a collection of steps, the application can take note of this, inform the trainee, and those steps can be reinforced. This was time spent training is actually valuable for the trainee all the time.
Make mistakes and walk away from them.
Real-world scenarios can be dangerous. Employees can find themselves in countless hazardous situations, and it’s important to be prepared for when that occurs. Virtual Reality allows for a risk-free environment, allowing learners to prepare themselves and train in these stressful situations without the possibility of danger.
During a VR experience, trainees can be exposed to stressful situations in safe conditions. Over time, these experiences reduce the stress or fear response of that stimuli, allowing learners to gain confidence in real scenarios. The increased multi-sensory aspect of an immersive experience can be incredibly similar to real-life stressors. In addition, there exists the ability to have controlled exposure of these situations based on the learner’s own limits.
Virtual Reality removes these dangers, while still allowing trainees to gain the benefits needed for their day-to-day work.
As mentioned earlier, VR provides effective feedback to trainees on-site allowing for content to be paced to their needs. But when that data is tracked and observed, it can be used to better understand what’s working and what isn’t and in turn, iterate to create a more impactful situation.
As more sophisticated data collecting methods are being developed, such as eye or facial tracking, more metrics can be used to understand how people are reacting to VR training. This is probably most sought after in soft skills training, where emotional input plays a larger role.
Nonetheless, trainee data can be a powerful way to make sure your L&D is as effective as it can be, and VR is a great way to gauge these metrics.
Modern Virtual Reality headsets are all-in-one mobile solutions, meaning all you need is the headset and its controllers to train. What makes this so important is that VR headsets can be implemented remotely, greatly reducing the requirement for in-person training.
Or, if your training occurs during a specific time where multiple people need to travel to receive it, costs can stack up quickly. Looking for a remote option instead helps save time and lets trainees learn skills faster. All you need is the VR headset, and the software does the rest.
There are many benefits of VR training for almost every aspect of L&D. VR deployment can save money, offer a safer teaching environment, and help customers achieve better business results. Foundry 45 develops enterprise virtual-reality training solutions to meet your business objectives and we believe in its effectiveness.