People are at different stages in their understanding of virtual reality training. At this point, some folks have been using VR content for years. However, others are just beginning to dip their toes in the virtual reality waters. This post is geared towards people who are now getting up to speed on virtual reality training. So, we think it’s important to revisit the question – What is VR training?
The overall goal of this piece is to:
- Share a high-level overview of virtual reality training.
- Give some specific virtual reality training examples to show how it’s being used.
- Explain why you should care about virtual reality training. (TL;DR — Virtual reality offers many of the benefits of learning in real-world scenarios while being safer, more cost-effective, and more engaging.)
Foundry 45 is the leading creator of enterprise VR Training for multiple industries.
Virtual Reality Training Overview
Delta Representatives Learning using VR headsets
The best way to understand VR technology is to put on a VR headset and try out some VR experiences. There are currently over 10 million VR headsets in the wild. If you don’t own one and can’t get your hands on a loaner, please reach out to us to schedule a demonstration.
The next best way is to watch a video showing what VR content looks like. The video at the top of this article is a great place to start. And, while this can give you an idea of how learners interact in virtual reality, it is in no way the same as actually being in a headset.
Finally, you can read about virtual reality training. Once a person dons a headset, they are transported to a virtual environment where they can learn in an efficient, experiential, and engaging way. Often, there are hand controllers that can be used to perform the same actions a person would perform in the physical world. Research shows that VR training creates an engaging learning environment that produces higher retention rates and quicker time to mastery than many other L&D training approaches.
Specific Examples of VR Training Experiences
Person on Tablet helping trainee in Pico Neo 2
In order to have a greater understanding of immersive technologies, it is often helpful to see some examples. Ideally, that can be using an actual virtual reality training experience. If that’s not possible, case studies are also a powerful way to learn.
You may want to take a look at the following related post:
Here are three case studies that highlight what’s possible:
Screenshot of Delta Aircraft Walk Experience in VR
1. Delta Air Lines Ramp Up Training with VR — To safely operate one of the largest transportation companies in the world, Delta has thousands of employees who work in an important field called ramp operations. It’s a very challenging learning environment, and VR has allowed them to do it in a safer and more repeatable manner.
Screenshot of TriMet Light Rail Experience in VR
2. TriMet Uses VR to Train Light Rail Operators — TriMet had two significant training hurdles. The only time they can train on the rails is in the middle of the night, and simulating problems during hands-on training is difficult or impossible. Building a safe space in virtual reality was their solution.
Screenshot of The Weather Channel Employee Education Experience
3. The Weather Channel Taps Into VR for Edutainment — The Weather Channel wanted to educate new employees on their app launch, and the corporate training team wanted to do it in an informative and engaging way. They decided VR was the right technology for the job.
Soft Skills being trained using a Virtual Reality Headset
There’s also a growing interest surrounding the use of Virtual Reality for soft skills training. This can range from police de-escalation to customer satisfaction. While it’s still a newer prospect, complementary technologies like eye-tracking, artificial intelligence, and motion capture are defining new experiences that place learners in hard social situations.
Why You Should Care – The Value of VR Training
The bottom line for many people comes down to what’s in it for me? Why should I care about using VR programs for my training purposes. And, finally, what’s the ROI?
Below are a few ways virtual reality training is beneficial:
- Trainees can learn new skills (both soft skills and more process-oriented ones) inside a virtual world that is true-to-scale and representative of their actual workplace. This helps dramatically speed up the learning process.
- Virtual reality is a cost-saving measure that reduces employee learning expenses, downtime, and travel costs. It also lowers cost on consumables and equipment depreciation.
- Management can review virtual reality training programs and see actual test results through automated reports that help position employees for future growth.
- Virtual reality training can reduce the risk of on-site training accidents, especially when learning how to operate hazardous machinery. It’s a safe environment where virtual reality technology can be deployed to teach employees in a virtual setting.
- Learning with virtual reality is memorable and fun. Employees are more likely to retain information if organizations provide quality education while on the job site or in a controlled environment like a training room.
There are several more ways virtual reality can enhance your training program. When you are ready to further explore immersive technologies, a good first step is to imagine exactly what type of virtual reality learning best suits your business needs. Integrating a virtual reality learning experience into your training programs can be extremely powerful. You can save your organization time and money, while also improving overall employee productivity by leveraging an engaging and powerful set of new tools.