Train, Try, and Test, also known as “The 3 T’s,” is a three-step virtual reality (VR) training approach designed for learners to acquire new skills quickly and retain knowledge for longer periods of time.
Each of the three stages reinforces skill acquisition by accomplishing the following:
- Train: Introduce learners to new skills through instruction and examples
- Try: Allow learners to practice newly acquired skills with guidance
- Test: Let the learners practice in a safe environment with the ability to measure success
Virtual Reality has already transformed training at workplaces throughout the globe, but don’t take our word for it. According to Superdata, 91% of businesses currently plan or have adopted VR technology for their training programs.
The evidence is clear, but adopting the technology is not enough; you will need to implement your VR training strategically, and you can do that with The 3 T’s of VR Training.
This article will cover what VR training is, how to implement The 3 T’s with VR training, and examples of how you can use The 3 T’s for your program.
What Is VR Training?
Virtual reality (VR) training creates an artificial environment in which the user is fully immersed in an experience. Through a VR headset, desktop, or mobile device, learners enter a virtual world created with video or through a fully simulated environment.
With VR, you can have 360° VR or Full VR experiences. Here are the differences:
360° VR Training
360º VR places learners in a fixed position with limited mobility. Learners can look left and right or up and down while interacting with the environment through gaze control or a laser pointer controller.
In 360º VR, learners typically receive instruction by watching pre-recorded 360° videos. Learners look around to view every aspect of the video and participate in choice selection using their VR controllers.
This type of instruction helps teach soft skills. For example, if a learner is taking part in diversity training via 360° VR:
- They watch a pre-recorded conversation that pertains to diversity issues
- They are prompted with a multiple-choice question about how to respond to the conversation appropriately
- Learners use the controller to select their answer
- The VR training marks answers as correct or incorrect and why, as well as a chance to repeat the question if necessary
This allows learners to learn diversity-based conversational skills without damaging relationships at their workplace. Learners are free to make mistakes and learn from them – without consequence.
There is evidence for this. In 2013, Stanford University published a study that demonstrated the use of VR in developing empathy with those who have color-blindness. When asking individuals to assist those with color-blindness, they observed that participants in their test group volunteered nearly twice as much as the control group.
Full VR Training
Full VR places learners in a position of free mobility. Learners can move forwards and backward, up and down, and right to left while interacting with digital objects. In this environment, learners practice physical skills and tasks that they would require in the real world.
In full VR, learners typically receive instruction by following on-screen instructions and completing tasks successfully.
This type of instruction helps teach hard skills. For example, if a learner is undergoing full VR training with maintenance:
- Learners see a piece of equipment in front of them that needs maintenance
- On-screen prompts walk the learner through the maintenance process, step-by-step
- Learners use the full VR environment to physically complete each step
- The VR module determines if they correctly completed each step and provides feedback when necessary
There is also evidence for this. Boeing increased the wiring speed and accuracy of its learners by 33%.
Using The Three T’s To Train With Virtual Reality
When implementing VR technology, you’ll need a learning approach that breaks down new skills in a calculated, strategic manner. Using The Three T’s is recommended because each of its three stages reinforces skill acquisition.
Let’s dive into each step:
During this stage, learners are introduced to new skills. This introductory stage sets the groundwork for introducing the learning objectives and explaining the concepts for the learning activity. The material can be presented through a variety of modalities, such as video examples, instruction, or demonstration.
During this stage, learners are tasked with practicing their new skills. The emphasis is on the freedom to practice and make errors in a safe space, which is where VR technology is helpful. A great way to set up the Try stage is to allow learners to practice what they learned in the Train stage while showing corrections in real-time with corresponding feedback.
During this stage, learners are assessed on their ability to show mastery of their new skills. This can be completed by giving learners the opportunity to perform activities based on the knowledge they learned without real-time correction or feedback. At the end of the activity, a score or other form of feedback can be provided to the learner and reported to the facilitator.
Examples Of The Three T’s In The Workplace
When combined with VR technology, this approach can be used for many training topics, teaching soft and hard skills.
Using The Three T’s For Diversity Training
360º VR can be utilized for soft skills training by using actors to show emotion and microaggressions. In this example, we will walk through how you can use The Three T’s for diversity training.
During the train stage, learners will watch a scenario where a coworker exhibits microaggressions at a team meeting and how a leader can properly address the situation.
During the try stage, learners will practice using the skills they observed during the train stage. Learners will have the opportunity to guide a conversation from the manager’s point of view by using choice selection – when the wrong choice is clicked, the activity will correct them with information.
During the test stage, learners will participate in a role-play activity to guide a conversation
without assistance to see how the conversation plays out with the choices they make on their own. When complete, the learner and facilitator can see how the conversation went and identify if more training is needed.
Using The Three T’s For Warehouse Training
Full VR training is a great opportunity to allow learners to safely practice physical tasks while limiting the risk of injury or property damage. In this example, we will walk through how you can use The Three T’s for warehouse training.
During the train stage, learners will use a VR headset to learn how to stack boxes in a warehouse properly. CGI characters will describe how to efficiently and safely carry each box and stack boxes on pallets.
During the try stage, learners will be prompted to work through an activity that has them physically practicing their new skills. Learners will be tasked with grabbing, carrying digital boxes, and stacking them on a pallet within the guidelines illustrated in the train stage. When tasks are done incorrectly, the activity will notify the employee and provide guidance to correct their form.
During the test stage, learners will be tasked with successfully stacking boxes without guidance. Learners will be given the activity and asked to work independently to see if they implement the skills they just learned. When complete, the learner and facilitator can see how the activity went and identify if more training is needed.
Get Ready To Train, Try, and Test Your Learners!
This article has covered all the components of The Three T’s and their relationship with VR training. We hope you feel more confident moving forward with your training program and observe all the benefits this model brings towards skills acquisition.