Augmenting online training with virtual reality


Virtual reality, touted as one of the next big things in technology is touching many fields of work. With the technology still evolving, the current form of it has been successfully implemented in many fields, like medicine, business, sports, design, aviation, education and training. Among these, use of virtual reality in training and employee onboarding is fairly feasible and a practical idea, many big corporates have tested the impact and are now using VR as a stable component of employee training. VR, as an extension of online training has substantially enhanced training results by mimicking real world scenarios wherein trainees interact and experiment with objects and ideas in a real-like environment.

One of the foremost uses of virtual reality in training is in risk environment, the VR equipment allows trainees to interact and train with objects like complex machinery, hazardous chemicals, and dangerous environments, without involving any real risk. In mining and exploration, simulation of real world environments allows trainees to come close to the dangerous work environment and explore it, this allows workers to get acquainted with the surrounding and operate the equipment they would use at work. The advantage VR provides is freedom to make mistakes, which could amount to losses and accidents in traditional way of training, the freedom to make mistakes means trainees can work in a stress free environment, in their own pace and comfort, thus learning the ropes in safe environment.

Sales training can be made highly effective with VR simulation, new joinees and trainees of sales for a new product can be ran through different scenarios confronting a virtual customer. By giving different options to respond with, the trainees’ competencies can be evaluated and they can learn by trying different methods and discover for themselves the most effective ones. In traditional way most sales executives learn the trade gradually while on the job, with virtual reality coupled with online training, new recruits and trainees can now be given this potent training which expedites the experience gaining process, along with quickly getting exposed to the company sales guidelines.

Employee onboarding is more than signing agreements and opening accounts, new joinees can be kept thrilled from the very first day by welcoming them with a virtual tour of the office and gently introducing them with company policies, briefing them with the hierarchy, their place in it and the impending responsibilities they will be assigned with. New HR trainees can be taken through VR simulation of recruitment guidelines and learn the process.

In virtual learning environment, employees can also interact with remote trainers and co-workers from a distant location – this is especially beneficial for offshore locations, in many cases companies save on travel cost by conducting online trainings powered by virtual reality. This is superior to the video conference setting in a sense it provides completely immersive setting in which individuals are transported to a different place. Employees can also be taken on a virtual tour of an offshore manufacturing facility and better understand the way how the products are made.

Besides augmenting online training virtual reality has found vital use in many other fields. Medical professionals have been making great use of virtual reality, trainee surgeons can have a close look up of human anatomy without having to deal with real cadaver, can learn to use operating equipment in their own comfort. Traditionally, the cadaver would be available only in select classes and trainees would not get enough time to understand the processes, with VR they can learn the techniques whenever they want, any number of times. Designers and architects’ life is made easy by VR simulation of objects and buildings, they can experiment with designs without having to build real prototypes, navigate the tricky corners of spaces and come out with best and most optimised result. Pilots can get very close to the sensation of real flying in training labs with VR simulation, try different maneuvers without any real risks and gain real time experience which prepares them for real flying to a great deal.

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Elearning Trends on the Radar for Year 2018