Guest Blog by Ben Bennett, Managing Director, Luminous Group
The way we learn is changing. The increased availability of virtual reality (VR) technology has opened up a valuable platform for businesses to teach their employees, often providing training that is both cheaper and more effective than traditional methods. Here, Ben Bennett, managing director of virtual reality experts Luminous Group explains how this tech can be used to train employees more effectively than traditional methods.
Like real life, but better
The main reason that VR is an excellent medium for learning is that it combines all the strengths of real-life learning with the benefits of a controlled simulated environment. Once immersed, the brain treats VR as though it is a real-life experience; it believes the environments it is seeing and experiencing are real.
By utilizing the same technology used in video games, VR simulations are able to mimic real-world physics, forces, collisions, and even weather. Users can genuinely feel powerful emotions when faced with dangerous, fearful, or urgent situations in a virtual environment, making it the best way to prepare employees for emergencies.
Safe high-risk situations
High quality VR environments fully immerse the user in the situation they are in — so much so that standing on top of a virtual building and looking down can actually induce vertigo. By creating real situations in a controlled environment, learning is reinforced in the most powerful way, leading to improved knowledge retention and learning outcomes.
Another benefit of VR learning is that it allows users to make high-risk mistakes without the worry of actually being injured or causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. Learners can also play around with systems to see what happens when things go wrong to really highlight the important of following strict health and safety procedure.
Bespoke real-world training learning
Detailed and realistic environments that are as close to real-life as possible are the best ones to learn in, which is why it’s important to tailor training solutions to each individual learning environment.
For instance, at Luminous Group, we work with clients to create bespoke digital scans of any environment, such as warehouse facilities and ports, which can then be used to build accurate 3D environments for use in VR. This approach allows employees to be trained extensively and get used to their real-world surroundings without ever actually leaving the classroom.
Gamification of learning
One of the elements of VR that makes it better than real-world training is the ability to “gamify” training simulations in order to monitor progress and track improvement. By adding in elements from gaming, training can be transformed into something fun, increasing the engagement of learners and ultimately helping them to retain more information.
Scoring systems can make training competitive, spurring employees to try and outperform each other, while the ability to change internal elements such as randomized hazards and obstacles, ensures the training always remains fresh.
As VR technology continues to improve, more and more companies will look to the virtual world as an effective means of training employees. It seems clear that this kind of learning is the future, and we are excited to see where this technology can take us.