Learning & Development

Providing a Virtual Reality Training Experience Through 360-degree Video

Imagine providing an opportunity for employees to take part in “real-world” training virtually. It’s not the stuff of imagination any more. Through 360-degree video organizations can provide an immersive experience for employees to participate in training in settings that might otherwise have been cost prohibitive or not even possible.

360-degree Video in Training

In the healthcare industry, for instance, 360-degree video is being used for surgical training. The Navy is using 360-degree video to teach problem-solving skills through a simulation. The possibilities are endless. Consider how 360-degree video might be used for customer service training, new employee orientation—even providing prospective employees with a realistic preview of what it would actually look and feel like to work for your organization.
Today’s 360-degree video options don’t require viewers to wear virtual reality (VR) headsets. An immersive experience can also be achieved through a computer (although headsets heighten the experience).
The obvious benefits of using 360-degree video for training is that it provides a more interesting and engaging experience than a regular video or webinar might provide. They also go further toward providing a real-world approximation of various experiences.

Some Drawbacks

There are some downfalls, however. Chief among them is the cost of production. While inexpensive cameras are on the market and do-it-yourself (DIY) options exist, the equipment to produce high-quality videos can be expensive. Those costs, though, are likely to come down over time as the technology continues to develop. Still, it’s likely that training departments will turn to vendors to create these videos rather than attempt to take a DIY approach. Trained videographers are already becoming adept with the technology and able to handle what can be complex shooting and editing requirements to achieve the desired immersive experiences.
As with any “shiny new technology,” of course, trainers should be cautious about jumping on the bandwagon simply because 360-degree videos are trendy. Time and cost can be justified, though, in certain cases.

Best Practice Applications

The healthcare industry is a good example of an application for 360-degree videos that makes sense. Giving clinicians the opportunity to practice their skills in a real-world-type setting is preferable to practicing with real patients. Similarly, for those in dangerous professions—firefighters, for instance—360-degree videos offer an optimal and valuable training option.
There are, though, other applications that could prove valuable in just about any industry. The opportunity, for instance, to provide jobseekers with the ability to experience an organization, their department, or function virtually offers a much better “realistic preview” than simply telling or showing information about the company through websites or traditional video.
360-degree video is currently in the early adoption phase. For training and education professionals not keen about becoming early adopters, that presents an opportunity to listen and learn to how others are applying the technology in practical ways to engage with employees during all stages of the employment life cycle.

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