Do you have some new employees that you need to train, but aren’t sure how to do so in a way that’s effective, and efficient? Many managers will just throw on an animated video or PowerPoint presentation, hoping that their team will retain enough information to be safe. Nowadays, the digital age has given us a better way: VR training content! When people watch a lecture, they often don't pay much attention; Our brains tend to tune out after only 10 minutes of hearing someone talk. However, when people experience something in an interactive, virtual reality setting, such as dissecting an animal or operating a forklift, their brains stay tuned into the lesson for about 40 minutes on average.
The VR training experience is immersive and engaging, but what does it actually take to create dynamic, compelling, and engaging content? It's important to ensure that the use of VR for training purposes is as efficient and productive as possible, which means it’s critical to have a well-designed product with quality production value that will keep your audience engaged throughout their learning process. Here, we’ll offer some tips for creating compelling VR training content that will be both effective and memorable for your crew.
For virtual reality to be compelling and effective, it must be realistic enough to keep people immersed in the experience. Virtual reality works best when it is used to demonstrate concepts, processes and products that are directly relevant to the participants, and function how they would expect them to. Virtual reality can be a powerful tool for creating realistic simulations that allow people to interact with real-life objects, in real-life scenarios, all in a totally virtual setting.
By ensuring that your content is as life-like as possible, you allow your students to gain experience safely, while letting them feel like they’re already doing the real thing. This can help instill confidence and boost productivity in a training session. Virtual reality also provides participants with an opportunity to gain valuable experience without being exposed to the risks involved in using equipment or products that are either unsafe to handle, or are currently being used. Virtual reality is a great way to give training on new technology before it's actually available, allowing people to get comfortable with concepts and tools that they might not have encountered before.
Unlike most traditional training methods, virtual reality is immersive and engaging by design. Because the participant is in a simulated environment, they are able to learn in an exciting new way, while absorbing knowledge and stimuli that is almost identical to a real life situation. Virtual reality offers participants the opportunity to see visualizations of abstract concepts in ways that have never been possible before, allowing them to apply this knowledge in real-life situations without a hitch.
In your training content, it is important that the experience is varied and dynamic for each participant. For example, if someone does something incorrectly, this simulation should react accordingly, and ideally offer a solution to the issue, while explaining what the dangers of the mistake would be in a real life scenario. Additionally, if someone does something correctly, the opportunity for reward should also be there. Virtual reality is so immersive that it can lead to a genuine sense of accomplishment for users, in which they feel like they have actually achieved something while still only working in a simulated environment.
Building off of the idea that content should strive to be as realistic as possible, when adding characters to your simulation, they should also be as life-like as possible too. Virtual reality allows for a computer-generated avatar to mimic the user's movements and actions, and can be specifically made based on height, weight, sex, different facial features, etc.
The more life-like someone or something is in virtual reality training simulations, the more realistic of an environment your participants will feel that they are learning in. This is essential when trying to create a sense of immersion for your students, and will ultimately lead to better memory retention, and longer attention spans during training sessions.
The key to success with VR is in the details. This technology has been helpful for training employees in controlled environments where dangerous or costly mistakes could occur if the consequences were real. Start by considering what type of content you would like to create, and then consider how it will be experienced by your audience. This may seem like a lot of work for something that's “not real”, but if you want maximum impact from a training program, this kind of attention to detail will make all the difference, and can even feel just like the real thing. Virtual Reality training content should be detailed and designed carefully to create a more immersive experience for your students, and ultimately a more productive working experience when it’s time for them to get on the job.