5 Ways to Know if VR is Right for YOU

Have you been thinking about adding VR to your learning solutions but are not sure if the business case is strong enough? Here are 5 ways to know if VR is right for you!

The recent, rapid change to organizational learning has brought alternative immersive solutions – like Virtual Reality (VR) – into the spotlight. Many organizations find themselves scrambling for a remote way to deliver interactive content to their employees. While they seem intrigued by VR, they hesitate to act because they need reassurance that the investment is a good idea – a confirmation that it’s right for them.

Here are five ways to know if VR is right for YOU and your organization. Individually, these five ways provide minimal support to add VR for learning solutions – but collectively, they create a powerful and persuasive business case for VR.

You need to train in person, but you can’t train in person.

As we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, n-personclassroom training is on hold until further notice. Training moved from the classroom to the Zoom room practically overnight. This quick pivot from in-person learning to online learning has been a rough ride for most organizations, having found that they were not prepared for such a sharp turn in how they deliver learning. This dramatic change sparked an immediate digital transformation for organizations across the globe – many of which had been toying with the idea of going digital for years. This pandemic situation has jump-started and propelled the adventure into digital learning.

If we have learned anything in the past six months, it’s that we need to be agile and adaptable in the way we train and teach.

Unfortunately, across the industry, the notion that the best way to teach someone how to do their job is in person and in the classroom still holds firm. Many are only just keeping things going with the Band-Aid of virtual learning platforms, trading the idea of interactive and engaging learning for good-enough-for-now learning.

Does that sound like you? Are you a part of an organization that has been thinking about going digital but is still waiting for that opportune moment? Are you holding your core programs together with virtual Band-Aids, waiting until you can meet in person again?

VR learning solutions provides an immersive step-by-step experience for your learners. With VR, you can create training that feels like the participant is in-person, even when they are not.

This digital option allows you to bridge the distance gap for employees that would otherwise need to travel to another location to complete job specific training by bringing the dynamic training experience to them.

You need to save money.

Budget is always a concern for Learning and Development. While the industry has big ideas and amazing applications for technology, the organizational learning departments typically do not have a matching budget. So, Virtual Reality is definitely too expensive, right? Honestly, no.

VR learning solutions can actually save your organization money. The cost for VR development of your program may come with some initial sticker shock, but by providing a comprehensive, immersive experience that your employees can access in their own homes and revisit to refresh at their leisure, you are saving money. You will cut costs on travel for employees and trainers, room rental space, materials and supplies, and any additional costs that may be incurred to retrain.

You need to boost interest & engagement.

Not all training is fun and exciting. Regardless of your level of instructional design skills, job specific training can be dull, tedious and even boring. Boosting interest and engagement are important for learners when it comes to assimilating and retaining content.

With VR learning solutions, participants are transported into a fully immersive simulated space that looks remarkably like their own workplace. By teaching job specific skills in a space that looks and feels like their own work environment, you will encourage them to create new neuro pathways, making the learning stick. The excitement and dopamine release of the immersive VR experience will have them looking forward to the next experience rather than dreading it.

You need to provide lifelike simulations without risk.

When it comes to instructional design, one thing we struggle to create are realistic, lifelike simulations without corporate liability risk. While we can create dynamic lifelike simulations for leadership, coaching and diversity training, we often lack a safe environment to practice those simulations.

VR learning solutions provide a safe, risk-free environment to practice dynamic simulations. With immersive simulations, you can bring employees to locations they would otherwise not be able to visit safely. Risk to the organization is low, as the practice subject is virtual. These also offer the opportunity to practice the same simulations multiple times without the need for additional staff or actors to play the part of the subject. The chance to start fresh in the same situation without the bias of someone who has already been through the simulation allows the user to fine-tune the micro skills needed for the training.

You need to provide essential training, safely.

One thing that VR has been highly touted for is safety training. Most organizations require some level of safety training for their employees. Whether it’s how to properly put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), safety when working on an assembly line, proper procedures during a fire or other emergency, or even how to operate heavy machinery, organizations must train safety.

VR learning solutions can provide detailed and comprehensive immersive training without the safety concerns of in-person instruction. With VR, you can create a dangerous situation that requires critical thinking and allow the participant to experience it in a very lifelike way without risk to the employee or the organization. These experiences can be revisited as often as necessary to reinforce the importance of following proper procedures for safety.

There you have it! Five ways to know if VR is right for YOU and your organization. Are you ready to join the digital learning transformation with VR? If you were looking for a sign – this is it!

Betty Dannewitz

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