The practice of using Virtual Reality (VR) technology in educational settings is increasing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 82 percent. This innovation in learning is not a surprise considering the benefits of the technology. Through VR, students gain immersive learning experiences, like those medical students need to learn to perform tasks like surgery. The success of VR learning in classrooms is leading many companies to implement the technology for training purposes.
How VR Can Be Used for Training
Learning is not confined to traditional classrooms. In most job settings, employees must learn skills, rules, procedures, and more to succeed. That is why companies offer training to their staff members.
Typical training programs used to consist of slideshows, supervision, and manuals. Through VR, employees can learn through a digital presentation, interacting with it to practice the skills and procedures taught. VR can include simulations and activities as well as written, visual, and auditory cues. Many of these components can replace traditional training practices.
Why VR Helps with Cost-Effectiveness
The advantages of using VR as a training tool are numerous. One of the main reasons companies implement the technology is simply the cost-effectiveness. VR training can:
- Reduce the amount of time spent in training
- Cut the cost of training supervisors and shifts that include shadowing
- Eliminate the need for extensive training equipment, sets, or spaces set aside for demonstrations/simulations
United Rentals, for example, reports a 40 percent time savings using VR for training.
Safety Enhancement Through VR Training
In many industries, an important part of training is giving employees experience handling stressful, dangerous, or potential emergency situations. Simulating these types of situations can be costly and can also be dangerous.
Aviation training, for instance, can be risky. There is quite a difference between using controls while watching a computer screen and handling those same control thousands of feet in the air. That is why the aviation industry was quick to adopt VR for training, allowing new pilots to immerse themselves in the experience and practice flying as if in the air (without actually being up in the air and at risk.)
Other industries are now using VR to safely address potential issues. Walmart, for example, is using VR training to prepare employees for the potential hazards of Black Friday. A sheriff’s department in Arizona uses VR to give staff experience in a variety of threatening situations.
VR Creates Training Experiences, Not Just Lessons
Another advantage of VR training is how immersive the technology is. Traditional training includes many lessons, but it does not tend to offer real practice or experience. VR transforms theory into reality. Since VR is immersive, it accelerates the learning process.
Farmers Insurance used VR to turn claims adjusting training into real practice. Previously, it built sets to help employees gain experience. Now, using VR, employees can engage with more scenarios and work through situations as if they were actually there.
Learning from VR Training Can Improve Business Practices
Since VR training simulates real scenarios, many businesses are also using them to test run initiatives. For example, companies can virtually create scenarios and have employees practice new procedures to see how effective the new policies are.
With so many possibilities available through VR training and simulations, companies should expect VR to continue to increase in popularity as well as in types of uses.
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