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Most people familiar with virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) think of gaming and entertainment, but VR/AR technology goes far beyond these limits. By leveraging VR/AR technology, organizations can deliver safer and more efficient job training to employees at a fraction of the cost of building real labs and environments. This technology also has the benefit of triggering the employee’s “memory palace”, a human element in learning that helps them recall facts and information more easily because they have experienced it. “in reality” rather than with traditional classroom learning methods.
How virtual reality is already improving training
Some industries are already using the benefits of VR training, primarily in scenarios where it would be expensive or dangerous to train someone using real-world experience. Several organizations are already using virtual reality to train people. Many Fortune 500 companies are currently leveraging virtual reality to save money by training their employees and reducing risk. Boeing, UPS, and Walmart are just a few examples of organizations using virtual reality for its many training benefits.
The University of Delaware has researched the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for the 25 most dangerous jobs, and several of these industries are already leveraging virtual reality to help train workers without the hazards of potentially fatal errors. For example, roofing, which research shows is the fourth most dangerous job. According to the researchers, the roofing industry has 41 fatalities per 100,000 workers. The most common risks are falls, slips and trips mainly due to improper use of ladders. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 81% of slips and falls in roofs are caused by ladders.
Although these injuries are the result of human error, some of these errors can be eliminated with more training. Virtual reality is being leveraged to help train workers in better ladder safety. Ladder safety apps allow workers to set up a ladder in a virtual reality environment and then provide feedback on mistakes made so they can try again. This VR environment is safer but gives the roofer the feeling of placing a ladder against a raised wall as if they were actually on the ground.
As you can imagine, training race car drivers is extremely dangerous. A mistake can cost the life of the passengers and the driver. Honda trains drivers using virtual reality devices that provide the closest drivers can get to real-world experiences without the dangerous consequences that come from making a dangerous mistake. VR simulation gives drivers the same feeling of being on the track, requiring split-second decisions and the consequences drivers would experience in a real race.
Why Virtual Reality Trains Better Than Standard Classes
Studies suggest that virtual reality can train better than standard classroom instructions or learning from books. The last two training methods give the learner no real experience of what they are learning. They can remember facts and snippets of information, but that doesn’t always translate to better learning when their work requires quick thinking based on past experiences. With virtual reality, the learner lives the consequences of his actions (good or bad) in the same way as he would live the same scenario on the ground.
Improved learning ability is due to a human phenomenon called “memory palace” which helps our brains to recall information more efficiently and quickly. It makes it possible to spatially organize memories within an environment. Studies from the University of Maryland consistently show that experiences in a virtual reality environment have similar retention to those activities performed in the real world. After providing 40 volunteers with a virtual reality environment, University of Maryland researchers showed that the virtual reality experience improved their ability to recall information more accurately by 8.8% and 40% more. more than volunteers benefiting from a simple computer-based learning environment.
Virtual reality training has benefits in several sectors and can be implemented using fewer resources and less space than classroom learning. The technology itself costs money, but it’s a much cheaper route than building labs and other real-world spaces and equipping them. Since learners are not working with expensive or dangerous equipment, it also reduces insurance and risk management costs.
Another advantage for the company is that virtual reality environments can be offered regardless of location. For large organizations that span the globe, requiring employees to travel to a specific location for training is costly. That could mean airfare, food, and housing for employees who can’t get training in their local community. Instead of forcing them to travel, companies can offer a virtual reality device that can be used for basic training from the comfort of their home, saving the employee time and money. in training costs.
Introduction to virtual reality training
If your organization wants to try virtual reality training, the first step is to decide which groups would benefit the most and improve your return on investment. Any training groups that require travel, real-world environments, or groups that might perform better if they had more than just computer-based lessons are a good place to start.
Before expanding your training, here are some additional points to consider:
- Create a storyboard and determine the skills and experiences that will be passed on from the app.
- Determine the results and what you want employees to learn from the app.
- Choose the device and integration requirements.
- Get ready to help develop, test and implement the new training app.
Regardless of industry, your organization will improve training, help employees retain information better, and deliver better, safer productivity.
Nik Froehlich is the CEO of Saritasa
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