In my ‘Getting started with VR’ seminar at World of Learning last week, a quick show of hands quickly revealed that most learning professional’s see VR as having real potential in L&D. This echoed findings from the in-depth research study Kallidus conducted in the summer which you can read about here.

As somebody who has been coming to World of Learning for almost two decades as a customer, supplier and frequent presenter, this year I got a real sense from everybody I talked to that while return on investment remains key, more so than ever we are all looking for new ways to make learning more fun, engaging and innovative. A lot of the seminars at the show hit the mark with plenty of tips on how to immerse today’s learners with more interactive learning solutions.

This appetite for innovation came through loud and clear in our VR study. We found that 81% of L&D professionals see one of the biggest benefits of VR being its ability to help their organisation be more innovative, and, at last, provide learners with something truly innovative at a time when other internal corporate functions are struggling to offer consumer-grade technologies that people now expect from all aspects of their lives. Innovation as a key benefit was only topped by VR’s potential to make high-risk or impractical training achievable (84%) and by its ability to immerse learners and achieve that ‘holy grail’ of greater engagement (89%).

Whether VR really is the future of learning, time will tell. But if you missed my presentation and like some of our customers are beginning to think about how you could use VR as part of your L&D strategy, here are the five key takeaways you might find useful:

1.    There are 5 styles of VR that can be used in L&D: 360º photos, 360º videos, 3D computer generated, fully immersive and mixed reality. Starting with 360º immersive video is a good way to overcome the key challenges and barriers.

2.    The power of using VR in mainstream learning applications is the ability to transport the learner into someone else’s shoes and let them see the world through someone else’s lives.

3.    VR is all about ‘presence’ - becoming someone else, being taken somewhere else or interacting with something not there, whenever that’s clearly not feasible or even safe to do so.

4.    VR can appeal to all learning styles making it an effective solution for a wide variety of training scenarios from health and safety, diversity and bias awareness and on-boarding to interpersonal and soft skills development – it’s not just for training in high-risk hazardous environments like defence and aerospace.

5.    When developing content, keep VR sessions short, think about the realism and keep your first project simple.

If you want to learn more about the use of VR in learning, take a look at our full VR report and check out our 360º virtual reality tour experience at London Underground here <

Author: Tim Drewitt, Product Innovator




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