Research and statistics show that virtual reality (VR) in corporate training will reach a value of $2.8 billion by 2023 and that VR has several benefits for the learning and development (L&D) industry. But if you want your employees to experience those benefits from your VR learning initiatives, there are five essential elements you must include in your VR training programs, as highlighted below.
1. SMART Goals
When designing or implementing your VR training, make sure that each training program or activity is designed with specific learning goals in mind and that those goals match strategic organizational goals across your company. Also, make sure each goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
For instance, you might want to create SMART goals for your onboarding VR training that align with the knowledge and skills you want your new hires to have after their training is over.
2. Appropriate Hardware and Software
Because VR is somewhat new to the L&D sector, it might be tempting to acquire certain VR hardware or software simply because it’s trending or popular. But you will want to do your research to make sure that you’re implementing the hardware and software that align with your organization’s SMART goals and the training objectives for your VR programs.
For example, certain software might be trending for customer service VR training programs, but if it doesn’t allow you to implement the training that meets the specific needs of your learners’ and organization’s SMART goals, then it’s not the right option. In most cases, you might want to consider customizable VR hardware and software options to ensure they’re a good fit.
3. Components that Encompass all Learning Styles
VR training is effective because it typically addresses various learning styles simultaneously, especially more visual and tactile learning styles. But you’ll want to incorporate other appropriate virtual components into your VR training programs to make sure that these programs also meet the needs of auditory learners and those who learn best by reading—virtual elements that are also centered on words, logic, spatial intelligence, etc.
4. Real-Time Assessments and Actions
It’s important that learners be offered opportunities to test the knowledge they’ve acquired during their VR training experiences; otherwise, their VR training should not be considered “training” but rather a simple VR experience.
For example, learners should be asked to pull levers on machines in their VR environments and conduct other actions. They should also be required to make decisions when interacting with their VR environments so they can see what happens when they do certain things.
5. Supplemental Training Materials and Experiences
In addition to providing learners with strategic and relevant VR learning experiences, you must also provide them with supplemental training materials and experiences that aren’t based in VR environments.
In your VR training programs, include additional reading materials, links to relevant mobile learning courses and social learning platforms, live instruction options, blended learning options, etc. Overall, a well-rounded VR training program will also offer supplemental training materials and experiences that are based in the real world, too.
As you work to develop your VR training programs, keep this list of essential elements in mind. And for more details, read “Creating Virtual Training Courses for Trainers with Minimal Technical Skills.”