Virtual Training For Organisations

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Virtual training is a type of training that is conducted using technology, such as video conferencing software, online learning platforms, or virtual reality environments. This type of training allows learners to participate in training sessions from anywhere with an internet connection, without having to physically travel to a training centre or classroom.

Virtual training can take many forms, including live online classes, pre-recorded videos, interactive modules, and virtual simulations. It can be used for a wide range of training needs, from onboarding and skills development to compliance training and professional development.

Virtual training can be particularly useful for organisations with remote or geographically dispersed teams, as it allows for consistent training delivery and reduces the need for travel. It can also be more cost-effective than traditional training methods, as it eliminates the need for classroom space, travel expenses, and printed materials.

Types of Virtual Training

There are several types of virtual training that organisations can use to deliver learning experiences to learners. Here are some of the most common types of virtual training:

  1. Live online classes: This type of virtual training is similar to a traditional classroom setting, but takes place in a virtual environment. Learners can interact with the instructor and other participants in real-time, ask questions, and participate in discussions.
  2. Self-paced e-learning courses: These courses are pre-recorded and allow learners to complete training at their own pace. They typically consist of multimedia components, such as videos, simulations, and interactive modules.
  3. Webinars: Webinars are live, online events that typically feature an expert presenter delivering a lecture or presentation. Participants can ask questions and interact with the presenter in real-time.
  4. Virtual reality training: Virtual reality (VR) training uses immersive technology to create a simulated environment where learners can practice skills and receive feedback. This type of training is often used in high-risk environments, such as healthcare, aviation, policing and the military.
  5. Augmented reality training: Augmented reality (AR) training uses technology to overlay digital information on the physical world. This type of training is often used in industrial settings, such as manufacturing and construction, to provide hands-on training without the risk of injury.
  6. Gamification: Gamification involves the use of game elements, such as points, badges, and leaderboards, to make learning more engaging and fun. This type of virtual training is often used in compliance training and soft skills development.

Who uses Virtual Training

Virtual training can be used by anyone who wants to learn new skills, stay up to date with industry developments, or improve their performance in a specific area. Here are some examples of who uses virtual training:

  1. Businesses: Companies of all sizes can use virtual training to provide employees with skills development, compliance training, and onboarding, regardless of their location. Virtual training can also be used to train customers and partners on new products or services.
  2. Educational institutions: Schools and universities can use virtual training to provide distance education and online learning programs for students who are unable to attend in-person classes.
  3. Nonprofit organisations: Nonprofit organisations can use virtual training to provide training to volunteers, staff, and partners in different locations.
  4. Government agencies: Federal, state, and local government agencies can use virtual training to provide employees with training on a range of topics, including safety, compliance, and professional development.
  5. Healthcare organisations: Healthcare organizations can use virtual training to provide medical professionals with continuing education and training on new technologies and procedures.

Benefits of Virtual Training

There are several benefits to virtual training that make it an attractive option for organisations looking to deliver training to their learners. Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Flexibility: Virtual training allows learners to participate in training from anywhere with an internet connection, making it ideal for remote or geographically dispersed teams. Learners can also complete training at their own pace, on their own schedule.
  2. Cost-effective: Virtual training eliminates the need for classroom space, travel expenses, and printed materials, which can result in significant cost savings for organisations.
  3. Scalability: Virtual training can be easily scaled to meet the needs of large or small groups of learners, without the need for additional resources.
  4. Consistency: Virtual training provides a consistent training experience for all learners, regardless of their location, ensuring that all learners receive the same information and are held to the same standards.
  5. Interactive: Many types of virtual training, such as live online classes and virtual simulations, provide opportunities for learners to interact with the instructor and other participants, making learning more engaging and effective.
  6. Easy to track progress: Virtual training platforms typically provide analytics and reporting features, allowing organisations to track learner progress and identify areas where additional training may be needed.
  7. Environmentally friendly: Virtual training eliminates the need for printed materials and reduces the carbon footprint associated with travel, making it a more sustainable option for organisations.

What the research says

A recent study conducted by PwC confirms that VR training in ‘soft skills’ is both more effective, and more cost-effective to deploy, than traditional training methods. 

Here are the Report’s Top 5 Findings:

  1. VR learners are 4 x faster to train than in the classroom. And this does not include the additional time required to travel to the classroom itself.
  2. VR learners are 275% more confident to apply skills learned after training. Confidence is a key driver of success when learning soft skills. VR enables practice in handling difficult situations in a safe environment. This is significant because confidence builds employee satisfaction, leads to better employee retention, improves quality and reduces mistakes.
  3. VR learners are 3.75 x more emotionally connected to the content than classroom learners. When emotions are involved, people connect, understand and remember things more deeply. VR simulation-based learning provides the opportunity for individuals to feel as though they’ve had a meaningful experience.
  4. VR learners are 4 x more focussed than their e-learning peers. VR simulations and immersive experiences demand the individuals’ full attention and vision. Multi-tasking while learning isn’t an option. Better outcomes are achieved as the user gets more out of the training.
  5. VR training is more cost-effective at scale than classroom or e-learning. It is repeatable and scalable. It goes as far as saying that the “value VR provides is unmistakable when used appropriately”. The more people that are trained, the higher the returns in terms of employee time saved during training, in addition to course facilitation and other cost savings.

How else can it be used?

Virtual training can also be used to provide enhanced support, in particular, for those with Autism.

A group of researchers from University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and tech-training company SIMmersion has received a $3 million grant from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health to develop a virtual reality training tool for youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), to boost their social and communication skills as they transition to the workforce from high school.

In the USA around 60,000 “transition youth” with ASD are ready to enter the workplace each year, but often need support to develop the soft skills required to hold jobs. Soft skills do not always come naturally for individuals with ASD, but it’s believed this new Virtual Reality Training Tool will allow users to strengthen and practise their soft skills in an interactive, fun and engaging way. Central to the tool’s success is its ability to provide repeated practice and feedback. The sophisticated technology comprises a series of interactive modules across 3 Levels designed by the autism community, teachers, employers and diversity experts.

One of the most inspiring qualities about the project is that it not only aims to help autistic youth to maintain employment, but “also is inclusive for autistic youth from diverse communities – an approach that is often overlooked” (Matthew Smith, associate professor in the University of Michigan School of Social Work).

Read the full article here.

In Summary

Virtual training is a cost-effective and convenient solution for organisations looking to upskill their employees. With the ability to access training programs from anywhere with an internet connection, virtual training eliminates the need for travel and reduces time away from work. It also allows for a larger and more diverse audience to participate in training programs, making it an inclusive solution for businesses of all sizes and industries. Additionally, virtual training enables organisations to quickly adapt to changes in technology and industry trends, keeping employees’ skills up-to-date. Despite some challenges, such as limited interactivity and the need for reliable technology, virtual training is a valuable tool for businesses looking to enhance their employees’ knowledge and skills in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

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