What value do virtual reality and metaverse bring to training?


Skill Enhancement Challenge

Employers are faced with a dilemma: Their workforce often needs to learn new skills, upgrade existing competencies, or complete compliance training. However, the new realities of remote and hybrid work have made it harder to upskill traditional, face-to-face jobs. Online and app-based courses can fill some gaps – but not all. So how can employers deal with this challenge?

Virtual reality advantage

Virtual reality (VR) is well known for teaching hard skills and providing realistic simulations, such as for aircraft pilots or equipment maintenance. With the rise of the metaverse, VR (as one of the ways to join the metaverse) is also becoming more and more popular. The 2022 US Metaverse Survey shows that 51% of companies are in the process of integrating VR into their strategy or have built VR into at least one dedicated line of business. 34% say that one of the biggest synergies they currently enjoy or foresee is “a more effective way to develop and train our employees”.

Where companies are at with VR adoption:

No activity
Integrating into our strategy
Part of our strategy

Source: 2022 Metaverse Survey, July 2022. 

But many employees also need to learn soft skills, such as leadership, resilience, and managing through change. Teaching them through VR and metaverse experiences is often possible – and very convenient.

How does VR work as a soft skills training tool?

We set out to answer this question with VR research specifically designed for soft skills training. Selected employees from a pool of new managers in 12 U.S. locations participated in the same training — designed to work toward holistic leadership — in one of three learning modes. : classroom, e-learning and v-learning (VR).

Result? The survey shows that VR can help business leaders upskill their employees faster, even at a time when training budgets may be tight and face-to-face training may not. must discuss.

VR learners are:


faster to train than in the classroom
more confident to apply skills learned after tranning
more emotionally connected to content than classroom learners
more focused than their e-learning peers

Top five findings on the value of VR in soft skills training

Here are five takeaways that can help you support your employees’ digital learning needs:

  1. Staff in VR courses can get training up to four times faster

US employees typically spend only 1% of their workweek on training and development, so employers need to make sure they use that time productively. That’s where VR can help.

What took two hours to learn in the classroom can be learned in just 30 minutes using VR. When you factor in the extra time it takes for a first-time learner to review, get equipped, and be taught how to use a VR headset, learner V still completes the training three times faster than classroom learners. And that number only takes into account the time actually spent in class, not the extra time it takes to get to class.

Time to complete the training:

120 minutes
45 minutes
25 minutes

Source: VR soft skills training efficacy study 2020. 

  1. VR learners are more confident in applying what they are taught

When learning soft skills, confidence is an important driver of success. In difficult situations, such as having to give negative feedback to an employee, people often wish they could practice handling the situation in a safe environment. With VR, they can.

Because it provides the ability to practice in an immersive, low-stress environment, VR-based training leads to higher levels of confidence and improved applicability of learning to the job. In fact, learners trained with VR were up to 275% more confident to act on what they learned after training – a 40% improvement over the classroom and a 35% improvement over online training.

Improved confidence in discussing issues and taking action on diversity and inclusion issues after the training:

Discussing issues: +166%
Acting on issues: +198%
Discussing issues: +179%
Acting on issues: +203%
Discussing issues: +245%
Acting on issues: +275%

Source: VR soft skills training efficacy study 2020. 

  1. Employees are more emotionally connected to VR content

People connect, understand, and remember things more deeply when their emotions are involved. (We learned that during our VR research and many BXT experiences, where we gathered different perspectives and worked together to determine what matters most.) Model-based learning Simulation in VR gives individuals the opportunity to feel as though they have had a meaningful experience.

V learners feel 3.75 times more emotionally connected to the content than classroom learners and 2.3 times more connected than online learners. Three-quarters of learners surveyed said that during a VR course on diversity and inclusion, they had a moment of awakening and realized they weren’t as inclusive as they thought they were.

Connect average emotions with learning content


Source: VR soft skills training efficacy study 2020. 

  1. VR learners are more focused

Today’s learners are often impatient, distracted, and overwhelmed. Many learners won’t watch a video for its duration, and smartphones are a leading cause of interruptions and distractions.

With VR learning, users are significantly less distracted. In VR headsets, simulations and immersive experiences control the individual’s vision and attention. No interruptions and no option to multitask. In our study, VR-trained employees were 4 times more focused during training than their e-learning peers and 1.5 times more focused than their peers in their class. When learners are immersed in the VR experience, they tend to get more out of the training and get better results.

  1. Learning VR can be more cost-effective at scale

Previously, VR was too expensive, complicated, and challenging to deploy outside of a small team. Today, the cost of the enterprise headset ecosystem is a one-time fee of less than $1,000, and these units can be managed just like any other enterprise mobile device and can be used many times for training. Studios of all sizes are developing compelling content, while vendors are creating software packages to allow non-VR developers to create their own content in a cost-effective way. . Elsewhere, some major learning-management systems players are enabling easy integration of VR content into their platforms.

The value that VR brings is unmistakable when used properly. In our research, we found that, when provided to enough learners, VR training is estimated to be more cost-effective on a larger scale than classroom or online learning. Because initial VR content requires up to 48% greater investment than similar classroom or e-learning courses, it is essential to have enough learners to make this approach cost-effective. . With 375 learners, VR training achieves the same cost as classroom learning. With 3,000 learners, VR training becomes 52% more cost-effective than classroom. With 1,950 learners, VR training has reached the same cost as e-learning. The more people you train, the higher your profit in terms of employee time saved during training,

Build a blended learning program

VR probably won’t completely replace classroom training or online learning anytime soon. But as the metaverse accelerates and remote work continues to grow, learning VR should be part of most companies’ blended learning curriculum. When done right, VR learning, in and out of the metaverse, includes key elements of business expertise to address challenges, human-centered experiences, and technology that boosts productivity without affect quality.

For example, we developed a VR soft skills course that allows executives and employees to practice new sales methods. Learners may pitch to a virtual CEO, but if they rely on normal sales techniques in the business, the virtual CEO will ask them to leave her office. However, if learners apply skills that demonstrate how they can bring value to the CEO’s company, they will receive a “virtual contract” at the end of the conversation.

Learning virtual reality set in the metaverse can enhance an organization’s familiarity with the technologies and opportunities of the metaverse. In the 2022 US Metaverse Survey, “referral and training” was the aggregate use case that companies said they were most likely to explore right now. In other words, it’s the most common way companies plan to get started in the metaverse.

Reference source: 2022 US Metaverse Survey

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