Virtual Reality Training Examples:
Virtual Reality training has the potential to make a significant impact on the healthcare sector by training healthcare professionals to carry out their work at the highest level, VR is already making a tangible difference.
Virtual reality fits ideally with a surgeon’s need to build up their experience by performing procedures multiple times to reach the required level of proficiency.
VR training can also provide a safe but realistic environment for doctors and nurses working in A&E departments, as well as for paramedics responding to emergency calls. The VR world can provide for a multiple of scenarios and can help students and practitioners to develop skills to cope in a highly stressed and fast paced environment, make crucial split-second decisions and perform procedures in difficult circumstances to help save patient lives.
Patient consultation training that combines VR with artificial intelligence allows practitioners to develop communication skills to cope with the reactions of patients in multiple scenarios. Empathy skills can be developed by being able to get an insight into conditions that patients have by experiencing some of the symptoms in a VR simulation, such as finding out what it is like to experience sight or hearing loss.
“Embracing technology is at the heart of the NHS long term plan and training doctors using virtual reality is another example of modernising the NHS to help improve care for patients with diabetes.”
Dr Partha Kar, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
VR training is set to revolutionise the construction industry. Employees get the chance of hands-on and practical experience in a safe, risk-free environment. From health & safety training through to training in intricate technical tasks, virtual reality can help to hone skills, boost performance and improve collaborative working practices.
Working in a construction environment can be hazardous and having a highly trained and proficient workforce is the key to minimising safety risks. But a dangerous environment isn’t an ideal place for people to learn essential skills, especially when undertaking high risk tasks.
Workplaces and tasks can be replicated in a realistic virtual space, where employees can have a hands-on training experience, but in a safe environment. This means they can make risk-free mistakes and hone their skills through practice.
From electricians through to crane operators, health and safety, plumbers, civil engineers and beyond, VR training can be applied to all roles from across the construction industry.
Implementing VR Training in the Workplace
If you are creating a VR training programme for your company’s learning and development portfolio, careful consideration needs to be taken at all stages of planning, delivery and evaluation to maximise impact and effectiveness. You need to have a clear understanding of your company’s training needs, as well as harnessing expertise in training development and technical innovation. In adopting this new immersive approach, you will need to:
- Be clear on what you want to achieve
As with any training course, you will need to define your requirements. What’s the current situation and where are your skills gaps? What’s your baseline and where you want to get to? What are the desired learning outcomes? By clearly identifying what issues need addressing by training, what the current situation is and where you want your team’s skills levels to be, you will be able to start designing the content for your training interventions.
- Get your timing right to avoid virtual fatigue
Being in a virtual environment can be an intense experience – especially if you’re new to the tech. Although there’s been amazing developments in hardware over the last few years, wearing a headset for hours at a time is uncomfortable and disorientating.
Keep your virtual training sessions short and sweet. Training in bite-sized modules are best; ideally each practical session should take no more than 20 minutes. Make sure that if an employee is working through several sessions in a day that they factor in regular breaks to return to the real world.
- Get your hands on the right hardware
Hardware is crucial for VR training experiences. If you’re rolling out VR training at scale across your company, you need to make sure that you’ve the right hardware in place for your employees. Simple, right? Not necessarily! Demand for kit such as Valve Index, HTC VIVE and Oculus Quest is potentially outstripping supply, so make sure that you’re talking to suppliers from the start to ensure that a lack of kit won’t hold back deployment.
- Invite all aboard! Taking your employees on a virtual journey with you
Not all employees will initially feel confident or comfortable using VR. When introducing immersive technologies into your training portfolio, factor in simple kit training exercises alongside clear user guides. It’s also a good idea to highlight why you’re introducing this innovative training and the positive impact it will have on their personal development.
Make sure you’ve also undertaken the necessary risk assessments to ensure that training is being undertaken in a safe way by all employees. For example, training in an appropriate physical space is crucial; remember that when you’re in VR, you’re blind in the real world – so bumping into other objects is a real possibility!
- Harness the power of data and evaluation to supercharge your training programmes
The ability to monitor and evaluate performance in VR training is a game changer in the world of training. During the experience, your employees every move – from hand gesture to eye movement, as well as their interactions and responses can be recorded. This information is gold dust for developing and reviewing training experiences. By introducing testing the programme and analysing the data, you will get the chance to assess what works – and more importantly, where changes are needed.