Virtual reality (VR) is no longer a far-off pipe dream we can barely imagine becoming the norm. Once it was something, we were amazed by in high-flying advertising campaigns but now, many of us have VR headsets at home. The cost of VR has decreased rapidly and is set to continue to do so, making it more appealing as a tool for many different industry skills, including in staff training and development. As home working becomes more prevalent too, is VR the future of training and something we are all going to have to get to grips with.
Who is Incorporating VR into their Training Programmes?
Big brands such as Facebook and Walmart have already announced their use of VR in training. This has been largely due to the prevalence of homeworking as they need and effective way to get employees up to speed. Walmart’s “The Pickup Tower” is one of the best-known and talked about VR training programmes currently out there and it has increased their training efficiency significantly since its implementation.
Other companies are also seeing the benefits, with telecoms company Verizon utilising a virtual module for training call centre employees in de-escalating angry customer calls, something which would always have been difficult to simulate and hard to train. It’s clear there are instances where VR is having a positive impact on their training process.
Is VR Suitable for All Types of Training?
Nothing offers one size fits all effectiveness and there are gaps where VR simply isn’t the answer. Training in ever-important soft skills, for example, is not something the computerised nature of VR is particularly reliable for. The current VR systems and programmes are better for hands-on training and it always needs monitoring by trainers and employers so they can actually judge the successfulness of the training programme and the trainees. The human trainer still has a very vital role to play.
Tapping into the Wealth of VR Data
Being a computerised technological training method, VR provides tons of data whenever it is used and this is something which can be assessed and appraised. VR comes equipped with a host of analytics and it can monitor things such as physiological responses to questions and training such as eye movement, fatigue, and heart rate. This can prompt it to change tack should these indicators suggest learners are tired, unwell, or disengaged.
This kind of data is once again extremely valuable and can help technology develop more effectively to meet the needs of its users. Learners can grow with VR and it can adapt to suit their needs too.
The training sector is always going to need the expertise and motivation of professionals to inspire and educate. VR is a valuable tool in managing some of the more practical training elements and is a great support for the traditional training structure. Whether it develops to be more than this in the future remains to be seen.