Virtual Reality (VR) technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, and businesses are catching on. Workforce training is one area where virtual reality is being used to great effect. VR has the unique ability to transport you to a completely made-up, yet completely real environment, and this makes it perfect for training individuals & teams on the different scenarios they may face while doing their jobs.
Below, we run through some of the key advantages of utilizing VR in training:
It’s real – In VR you can create the exact scenarios for trainees to handle on the job. You’ll build the scenario entirely from scratch and control every single variable the trainee may encounter. You could create a lifting incident scenario which requires the trainee to take an action, and then create a range of outcomes which vary depending on the action taken.
It’s hands on – Learning by doing is proven to work better than learning by observing, and this is exactly what VR can offer. VR environments allow the user to take part in a scenario, rather than just observe, and it’s this hands-on experience that is so valuable to trainees. Also, this technology makes the learning experience fun & enjoyable, more than can be said for sitting in conferences.
It’s cost effective – You can reduce the cost of training a large workforce by training staff remotely. Do you have limited training resources, equipment that is scarce or expensive, too many people to train at one time, and/or to much travel? If some of these limitations apply to you then using virtual reality could be a perfect solution for your needs. By modeling your equipment, possibly down to the last detail, you could distribute a training program to all your employees or trainers and that will allow them to interact with it, follow best practice procedures or carry out safety scenarios, all without having to access (and possibly damage) the equipment and other variables in real item.
It’s safe – There are some occasions when training your team is expensive and it can sometimes be hazardous, with real risk of personal injury or damage to expensive equipment. Pale Blue develops highly interactive, virtual reality environments to help with these issues. By creating an environment which simulates a potentially real-life situation or replicating an equipment unit, Pale Blue’s interactive scenarios remove these concerns, and help the user gain knowledge and understanding of the subject matter without being put into a costly or harmful environment.
It’s measurable – With access to data and analytics, the trainers and companies want to quantify how their staff performs in training. VR is perfect for this, both for setting benchmarks on how well staff should perform, and for showing how an individual’s performance changes over time. This allows the trainee to receive immediate feedback on how they performed, and the instructor to suggest ways of improvement.
Performance improves – When users are engaged in the learning process, they better remember what they learn; when they have high retention rates, they gain control of their tasks faster; and when they gain control over more tasks, they improve their performance. A VR experience is the most immersive method of training. There are no distractions; there is only focus. Even though trainees know that the experience is not real, their feeling of reality is what makes learning through VR so effective. And this leads to better performance.
Retention Rates INCREASE – Higher engagement rates lead to higher retention rates. If learners pay attention to what they’re supposed to learn, they’ll better remember it later. Since the VR experience makes the trainee focused on the surroundings, it becomes easier to recognize the same situation later in real life and take the best action.
While many of these technologies are just entering the market, they progress very fast, and to stay competitive the worldwide market is already investing in the new methods of doing business on an international scale. Flying and other forms of travel are expensive. The new way of communicating and learning interactively carries little risk and brings a lot of benefits.
VR is not a complete replacement for real-life teachers and trainers, but VR can be a fantastic tool to help them. As we move into the future, education methods are constantly changing, enabling and encouraging different learning styles.