THE EFFECTIVENESS OF VR IN TRAINING
The US firm PwC conducted a study on the effectiveness of virtual reality in soft skills training. Entitled “How virtual reality is redefining soft skills training”, the survey reveals that virtual reality is a real accelerator of training in companies, even at a time when the budgets of training may decrease and that face-to-face training is most often ruled out given the health context. We explain why.
First, the survey was conducted on employees selected from groups of new managers located at 12 sites in the United States. These employees have taken the same training – designed to address inclusive leadership – in 3 different ways: classroom, e-learning and virtual reality (VR).
LEARNING FOR VIRTUAL REALITY LEARNERS CAN BE UP TO FOUR TIMES FASTER THAN PRESENTIAL CLASS
What took two hours to learn in the classroom could potentially be learned in just 30 minutes using virtual reality. During the study, virtual reality learners always completed training three times faster than classroom learners, not including travel and installation time for employees going to the classroom.
VR LEARNERS ARE MORE CONFIDENCE IN APPLYING WHAT THEY LEARN
As virtual reality can be used to practice challenging situations in a safe, low stress environment, learners have shown a higher level of confidence and an improved ability to actually apply learning on the job. Indeed, they were up to 275% more confident to act on what they learned after the training, 40% more compared to the classroom and 35% compared to the online training.
EMPLOYEES ARE MORE EMOTIONALLY CONNECTED TO VR CONTENT
By stimulating their emotions (see our blog post on Positive Emotion) while using VR, learners understand and remember the information learned more deeply. Virtual reality simulation-based learning gives learners the impression of having had a meaningful experience.
VR LEARNERS ARE MORE CONCENTRATED
Impatient, distracted, overwhelmed…. New learners no longer have the same ability to concentrate. Many of them will not watch a video during its duration. Smartphones are also a major source of distraction. With virtual reality learning, users are significantly less distracted. In a VR headset, the individual’s vision and attention are fully engaged. Cannot multitask. Thus, employees in the study were up to four times more focused during virtual reality training than those studying online and 1.5 times more focused than their classmates. Learners immersed in a virtual reality experience therefore benefit more from the training and achieve better results.
VIRTUAL REALITY LEARNING CAN BE MORE PROFITABLE ON A LARGE SCALE
In the past, virtual reality was meant to be expensive and difficult to deploy on a large scale. Today the cost of hardware is much more affordable. Training content can be easily integrated into it. According to the study, virtual reality training reached cost parity with classroom learning as early as 375 learners. At 3,000 learners, VR was 52% more cost effective than the classroom.
BUILD A MIXED LEARNING PROGRAM
While virtual reality is not yet replacing classroom or online training, it should be part of the blended learning program. Ideally, an entire team would take this training and then have follow-up discussions to determine how they can apply the skills learned in their work.
In summary, virtual reality allows learners to practice skills that help them better understand the real world. Another good reason to start using virtual reality in your organization is the simplicity of this technology. A simple, affordable and particularly effective tool, which foreshadows new ways of learning and working.
Find the study HERE.