With the eLearning market expected to be worth over $200 billion by 2024, modern technology like virtual reality (VR) is all set to completely transform the eLearning landscape – not just across corporates for skill enhancement but also as a robust learning tool across educational institutes. Through the use of realistic images, audios, and various other formats, VR provides an exceptional learning impact – and takes learning outside the boundaries of the traditional classroom.
Since learners can interact with an environment that replicates the real world, it ensures an extremely engaging learning experience. Today, VR holds unlimited opportunities for training: from basic manual process techniques all the way through to high-level executive leadership development in the workplace to continuous and uninterrupted learning in the academic sphere.
Here is how VR can enhance your eLearning:
1. Immersive: VR is used to deliver truly immersive virtual training experiences. Through the use of VR headsets and glasses, you can create an entirely real-world interactive world, attract learners to enroll for courses time and again and enable them to enjoy a higher interaction level. By providing an environment that authentically reflects the real-world environment, VR helps to provide some context and situate theoretical knowledge. Learners can be transported into a world where they can apply theoretical knowledge and hone their critical thinking skills.
2. Safe: Through VR, learners can not only learn aspects of their day-to-day tasks but also learn how to apply skills in real-life. This is especially true for employees working at risky, dangerous and accident-prone work sites. Through VR, you can train your employees on how to handle difficult tasks without the risk or the cost implications of placing them in a dangerous site or a remote destination, while simultaneously avoiding injuries and mitigating risks. In the mining industry, for instance, employees can be taken on a virtual tour of the mines. Since it’s dangerous to send employees to real-life mines unless they’ve been trained in them, VR makes it easy to train them on the hazards they will encounter down under – without actually putting them there. In another example, the Winterthur Gas & Diesel company uses virtual reality for training of the engine room crews at the Marine Power Academy Training Centre of Hudong Heavy Machinery Co. in China.
3. Realistic: The most common training need triggering the use of VR is to expose learners to a large range of realistic experiences. As classroom or eLearning provides learners very little freedom to practice the application of skills they’ve learned, VR allows them to practice what they’ve been taught with increased efficiency. For example, VR can be very effectively used to train employees on large-scale machinery such as a large extraction equipment or drilling machines without encountering any practical challenges.
4. Engaging: VR allows you to provide training content in a highly engaging manner. By simulating real-life scenarios directly onto standalone headsets, you can provide a 360-degree view of best practice techniques of across a range of topics – from hazardous onsite locations to flight simulators, medical practices to engineering processes – and instantly transport learners from the training room directly into an engaging experience. Whether you have a group of medical students learning the criticalities of a surgery, a team of engineers learning the nuances of a new product line, middle managers working on managing a retail warehouse or C-level executives taking an advanced management program, VR makes it easy to create any scene and truly engage learners within the training session. Students and employees can learn to deal with difficult situations with striking realism, and take role play and situational practice to a whole new level.
5. Convenient and cost-effective: In contrast to other training methods that involve the use of highly innovative training materials and learning resources – that are either limited or expensive to purchase in huge amounts – by modeling the real-world environment into a virtual world, VR is extremely convenient and cost-effective. Learners no longer have to travel to attend training courses and can help in saving training time and budget. Walmart employees, for instance, make use of VR to understand the frenzy that black Friday is. By virtually standing in the middle of all the madness, employees can prepare themselves for the swelling crowds and panic-driven shopping. Employees can also learn about customer service and understand the operational aspects of the store like how items should be stacked and arranged.
Enhance learning outcomes With the VR training market predicted to grow to $6.3 billion in 2022, the sensory-driven interactive environment that it offers is unmatched. By replicating experiential learning activities in the classroom environment, it delivers a good degree of reality – which cannot be achieved through text, audios, or videos. VR in eLearning provides the opportunity to quickly and easily build and distribute relevant, captivating scenarios that add a deeper level of understanding to drive self-directed learning in students and enhance the skills of employees, without significant time or financial investment.