Consider this scenario. You are the manager at a manufacturing plant. You walk into the job to hear the sound of wailing sirens and see smoke coming out of the windows. You need to contain the fire until the cavalry arrives. You open the door to go inside but a wall of flames greets you. You wonder what was in the safety manual but the situation is so haphazard and dangerous that you can’t just think about anything else right now. The fire increases and you make your way back to safety. All thoughts of stopping the fire leave your mind.
That is when a message flashes across your view, “Simulation failed. Try again!”
You take off your VR headset and decide to take a few minutes to compose yourself before attempting the simulation again.
Thank God, it was just a training simulation and not the real deal. Although it felt like one.
THE TRAINER’S DILEMMA
Trainers and facilitators have always faced this problem in the past.
How to make sure that you teach the staff about facing dangerous situations without putting them in one?
How can a lecture or a presentation be adequate enough to ensure that the employees will do exactly what they were told when they face the real situation?
No matter how much notes they take, no matter how engrossing the presentation was, it will never be enough to prepare them for the danger that is lurking just around the corner. Companies could emulate live situations, but they are costly, not to mention hazardous. Employees could get injured in them.
Before VR was introduced, training meant two things. Either it is ineffective and completely worthless, or it is effective but costly and dangerous.
VR offers a third way of training that can ensure the safety and security of the personnel while being cost-effective and in a controlled environment. Whether you want to train your pilots to handle advanced tech or you want to train your employees to handle fragile equipment or dangerous chemicals, VR is your simple and effective answer.
Here we have listed some benefits of VR for the purpose of teaching and training so that experts of the industry can train their staff effectively, swiftly, and with better retention rates than ever.
IT’S ALL ABOUT EXPERTISE
Most of the time, success in any business or industry comes from having people with the right expertise in all the right places. You have an IT expert ready to handle any problem in the IT department, your Safety and Compliance Officer are ready to handle any compliance-related issue and so on. Of course, the problem is that experts are in a small number and are highly paid individuals. You may not be able to find the right person in time, or the right person might be too costly for you, especially if you are a small to medium business or a startup.
VR offers you a simple and elegant solution. Create your own experts. With VR simulations, you can ensure that the people you train are up to date with the latest trends and technologies and that they have enough practice in every scenario to ensure the correct response every time. Whether you are a construction business and need virtual reality home design, or you are a manufacturer who wants an expert for their safety division, VR is exactly what you need to create your own experts.
FASTER, SAFER, AND AT LESS COST
VR technology is offering businesses the ideal learning environment at lower costs than they usually incurred and in less time than the other traditional teaching and learning methods.
How is that possible?
First of all, VR offers as many repetitions as you need. The more dangerous the environment, the more repetitions a business requires. With VR technology by your side, you can continue with a specific scenario until you are sure that your teams have effectively learned their lessons and are ready to move on to the next environment. With traditional methods, repetition was very costly and not always manageable.
Because of the repetition, VR is less costly than other methods. If you are training someone to pilot a jet, budget constraints can really hamper your training and without the proper hours, there won’t be anyone to fly the jet. That is how VR lowers the cost as there are no additional expenses that your company will have to bear. Once the upfront cost is taken care of, the rest is completely free. You don’t need any upgrades or changes.
VR is not just about the low costs and the repetitions. It also offers more retention and immersion than any other teaching method out there. Studies have confirmed that VR greatly reduces the learning time and lowers the error rates of the trainees. It also increases the amount of learning and people remember more when they have gone through a VR training lesson. Whether you are conducting a training for an expert or for every employee, these effects will be there.
HOW CAN VR TRAINING BE MOST EFFECTIVE?
If you think VR is the answer, you are partially right. VR, like any technology, is a tool. How you use that tool defines the outcome of the training. VR greatly increases retention and lowers the overall cost, but you need to plan for it properly if you want to have the maximum impact. Before you contact a company for a VR training simulation, make sure that you have done all the planning and that the learning goals are clear in your mind as well as the company that is making the simulation for you. Make a list of outcomes that you are expecting and what will the employees have learned once they have finished with the training.
In any industry, there are a lot of points that training can cover. Make sure that you stay specific to any one point throughout the training session and don’t get carried away by stuffing a multitude of learning scenarios into one training. This might put you in a difficult scenario as the upfront cost might rise, but there are ways to address this situation. Once you have purchased all the equipment for the training, make sure that you request one training at a time. This will ensure that your simulation development costs will be broken up into pieces instead of one huge amount. Find out the areas that need immediate response and opt for the first. The rest can be taken care of later. Some simulations can be tweaked to change and handle different learning outcomes.
If you take care of the points mentioned above, you will ensure that your VR technology is not something to be looked at, but something that can be used and something that will give you the most ROI through its cost-effectiveness, higher retention rates, and the ability to train again and again without any additional costs.