Virtual reality (VR) has the power to transform how an organization conducts its corporate training, but there are common misconceptions about VR technology that may hold organizations back.
6 common virtual reality training myths include:
- Virtual reality is only used for gaming and entertainment
- Virtual reality training doesn’t actually improve learning because it distracts learners
- Virtual reality is only beneficial for technical skills development
- Virtual reality training is too expensive, especially for a large number of learners
- Virtual reality training makes learners nauseous and motion sick
- Sharing a virtual reality headset with other learners isn’t hygienic
Remember the popular early-2000s television show MythBusters that debunked common questions, myths, and misconceptions?
We’re channeling that same energy in this article. From virtual reality (VR) only being used for gaming to VR only being beneficial for technical skill development, we’re here to debunk 6 common misconceptions of VR training.
At Roundtable Learning, we partner with organizations across a variety of industries to develop custom training programs tailored to their needs. We work directly with clients to implement one-of-a-kind training with the latest and greatest technology — one of which being VR!
This article will debunk 6 common myths about virtual reality training.
1. Virtual Reality is only used for gaming and entertainment
While VR’s most popular application is gaming and entertainment, that’s not its sole use. VR has quickly grown in popularity within the learning and development space largely because of the benefits it brings to training across different industries.
Real-life examples of VR being used across various organizations include:
- Aspen Dental, Inc. uses VR training to enhance patient care
- Superior Beverage uses VR as part of a blended learning program for warehouse floor associates
- Lincoln Financial Group uses VR for a scalable, interactive leadership training program
Beyond the gaming and entertainment space, VR is proven to have a profound impact on engagement rates, knowledge retention, employee confidence, and more when used as part of a corporate training program.
2. Virtual Reality training doesn’t actually improve learning because it distracts learners
A major critique of VR technology is that it distracts learners more than it engages them. VR training is actually less distracting and improves skills more effectively than a traditional classroom learning environment.
In the context of employee training, VR comes with the following benefits:
- Enhances engagement levels through interactive, safe learning activities
- Builds muscle memory through hands-on, realistic learning activities
- Headsets allow employees to focus solely on their VR environment without real-world distractions
In one study, learners who completed VR training showed better knowledge acquisition, retention, and engagement rates than those who learned from a textbook or video. This study demonstrates that VR training may be less distracting than more traditional learning strategies and benefits a learner’s understanding of training material.
3. Virtual Reality is only beneficial for technical skills development
VR is commonly known as a technical skills training tool, but did you know VR is also beneficial for soft skills development (e.g. communication, empathy, employee coaching)? According to a study from PwC, learners who completed a VR activity for soft skills training were up to 275% more confident to act on what they learned after training.
In an immersive, stress-free VR environment, learners will likely feel more comfortable making critical decisions without impacting real-life coworkers. Instead of an in-person role-play for soft skill development, an employee could complete a realistic VR activity that’s repeatable, risk-free, and trackable.
4. Virtual Reality training is too expensive, especially for a large number of learners
VR is a cost-effective, scalable training modality despite the popular myth that this technology is unattainable for smaller budgets. Depending on whether 360° or full VR technology is used, the cost of a VR training program can range anywhere from $20,000 to $150,000 or more.
While these costs may seem overwhelming, VR training is actually more cost-effective than traditional in-person training programs, especially if used at scale. Once a VR program is created, organizations can re-use their content and hardware on an as-needed basis, reducing repeat costs. There are also several ways to mitigate VR training costs, from using cardboard headsets to utilizing existing internal resources at an organization.
5. Virtual Reality training makes learners nauseous and motion sick
While VR training has the potential to make learners feel sick, there are remedies to lessen this risk. Motion sickness and nausea may occur while wearing a VR headset due to a disconnect in the brain. Learners may feel disoriented, nauseous, motion sick, or have eye strain because of the graphics in the VR headset itself.
To combat these risks, organizations have several options, including:
- Create alternative access options for VR training, including desktop and mobile
- Keep VR activities to 20 minutes with 10-15 minute breaks every 30 minutes
- Invest in high-quality VR content with minimal disruptions (e.g. lags and blurry images)
- Provide adequate hardware training to ensure learners know how to use their equipment
6. Sharing a Virtual Reality headset with other learners isn’t hygienic
Since a VR headset and its controllers come in direct contact with each learner, organizations need to ensure this hardware is kept clean to limit the spread of germs.
The three best sanitization practices for VR headsets are:
- Have learners wash their hands prior to using VR equipment or wear gloves
- Use facial interface covers when wearing the headset
- Clean devices before and in-between each use with nonabrasive antibacterial wipes
If learners prefer to use their own headset or want to access their VR activity on their own, there are alternative access options available, including personalized cardboard headsets and mobile or desktop versions of their VR activity.
6 Virtual Reality Training Myths — Busted!
This article has debunked 6 common VR training myths. We hope that by debunking these popular misconceptions of VR training, we’ve disproved some commonly held beliefs that may be holding your organization back from diving into VR training.
Ready to learn more about VR training and explore how this technology could transform your existing corporate training? Our experts are here to help! Schedule a meeting with one of our technology experts today or check out our resource center on all things L&D.