VR training is a powerful new tool for L&D that can elevate learning and meet business and performance objectives. Which learning programs should be prioritized for VR training? Here are the top questions that L&D professionals need to consider when exploring VR as an option.
Discover The Best Use Cases For VR Training
Have you ever had the opportunity to bring and champion new techniques to elevate learning? The field of Learning and Development is always changing. It’s exciting to know that there are always new and better ways to engage learners and achieve business objectives and from time to time, there are real leaps forward. This is the moment we’re in with Virtual Reality and VR training .
In the past 3 years, all of us in the SweetRush SPARK team have been fortunate to collaborate with some of the most innovative, pioneering L&D professionals in the industry to create learning programs enhanced by a VR training approach.
Some wanted to help build understanding and empathy . Some wanted to improve safety. Some wanted salespeople to experience their products in a visceral way.
No matter the challenge, these trailblazing professionals have embraced VR training and guided their organizations to adoption, from a proof of concept to collaboration, invention, and overcoming challenges and finally to learning programs beyond what they imagined. Excited learners and effective learning naturally lead to validation and leadership buy-in. This creates a jolt of new energy and inspiration for L&D, paving the way for new Virtual Reality learning programs and further innovation.
When an L&D organization takes the first step toward VR training, the game-changing results drive momentum toward further investment and expansion. VR injects excitement, fun, and a renewed interest in learning for employees and leaders.
One of the first steps is identifying which learning programs are best suited for a VR training approach. These 6 questions will help you narrow the field and determine how VR training can help you solve organizational and performance challenges.
Identifying Learning Programs For A VR Training Approach: 6 Questions To Ask
1. Which Competencies Require Repeatable, Hands-On Practice To Master?
Adults learn best when they have autonomy over their learning experience. Like other types of asynchronous learning, VR training puts learners in the driver’s seat. They can go at their own pace, repeat the experience, and, if you’ve included branching, explore alternative paths. They can repeat the training and get multiple practice sessions, rather than one-and-done.
Also, VR is best suited to short burst training—10 to 20 minutes is the sweet spot. This type of learning design creates space to process and reflect on what they’ve seen and experienced inside the headset—either self-reflection, in groups for social learning, or with an instructor/coach, depending on your blended learning design .
VR training offers scalable, repeatable practice that helps people perform their jobs more accurately and get to this higher state of accuracy more quickly.
2. Which Learning Programs Are Hard To Replicate And Scale?
VR makes the impossible possible. Early applications of VR training include flight simulation and training for medical surgeons. Think about what work environments are difficult or impossible to replicate and may impact the scalability of the learning program. These are logical candidates for a VR training approach.
3. Which Learning Programs Require Significant Travel Costs?
All of the financial reasons you’ve chosen to convert in-person training to virtual learning applies here. Instead of sending someone to a conference room in Toledo, you can create whatever learning environment and activities you want—once—and then distribute it easily and cost-effectively.
And now, in our COVID-changed world, the future of learning is even more virtual. With our new reality, VR training is not only a path to innovation, it’s a path to bringing us together safely. You’ll need virtual training alternatives that provide higher engagement, targeted practice, and multiple perspectives to address learning objectives for your high-profile, high-impact training needs, and to ensure retention and recall. That’s where a VR training approach comes in.
4. Which Learning Programs Cause Disruption To Operations And/Or Require Significant Logistics And Planning?
Travel isn’t the only cost associated with training. Do you need to close or disrupt a location, arrange for high-level and busy staff to give tours, keep an airplane grounded? Disruption, logistics, planning, and opportunity costs hit your bottom line. The up-front investment in a VR training program will be far less than these costs that add up over time.
5. Which Learning Programs Require A Safe Environment To Practice?
Training can be dangerous and costly; potential risk to one’s personal safety and to the business through making mistakes. As L&D professionals, we need to make it safe and still give learners the best opportunities to practice, learn, and improve their performance. VR training is as close to the real world as you can get, while being far removed from anything that can cause harm to your learners or your organization.
Does your current training program offer a safe environment to practice? What are the consequences of mistakes on an individual or the organization? VR simulation is unparalleled as an immersive, effective, and safe virtual environment to practice.
6. Which Learning Programs Can You Leverage To Attract Top Talent And Younger Generations?
If you’re not yet thinking about Learning and Development as a recruitment device, well, it is and it’s a good time to start. Millennials and Gen Z report their most important desire for a first job is opportunity for growth  , and lack of growth and learning opportunities are top reasons they’ll exit . VR training speaks their language and shows you care about providing them with innovative learning programs.
Don’t underestimate the value of VR for talent acquisition. VR technology speaks to younger generations and shows that you’re not only providing learning opportunities, you’re innovating.
Where To Focus Your VR Training Approach
We are often asked about which learning programs are best suited for VR training. Our advice: Look at your high-profile, high-impact programs. Safety, sales, soft skills/leadership, and technical training often rise to the surface. Think about training that requires a high level of hands-on practice to achieve competency or situations where you need to gain buy-in for a new product. The questions above will help you narrow the field and select the most promising learning programs for a VR training approach. Of course, you’ll want to explore your options more fully…and we’re always standing by, ready to engage and assist you in this exploration.
Interested in learning more about VR training, the best use cases, and how to gain buy-in? Download Your Guide To VR Training Programs: Virtual Reality For Our New Reality. In this essential guide, you’ll learn the top advice and best practices for successfully bringing VR training into your organization. Join the webinar VR Training Program Case Study to learn all you need to know through a success story!
Foto: Katherine Canales/SweetRush Inc.