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5 Ways Employers Are Using Virtual Reality for Training | Herald Community Newspaper

Beth Mowbray

Woman in virtual reality headset sits at office desk.

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Immersive technology, which blends digital content with the physical world, is a rapidly expanding market that includes several different technologies. “Virtual reality” is one of the best-known forms of immersive technology, using headsets to immerse individuals in a 3D, fully digital world. On the other hand, “augmented reality” extends the real world by superimposing virtual objects using glasses, smartphones, tablets, etc. “Mixed reality” takes AR a step further by allowing users to interact with these virtual objects.

The entertainment industry has long used immersive technology, and many other industries are also adopting it to train their staff. Tovuti LMS investigated how employers in various industries are using immersive technology to train their employees.

Businesses are expected to purchase 2.6 million VR and AR headsets by the end of 2022, a 30% increase over 2021. This technology is attractive to some companies because the content and pace of training can be tailored to the individual. It also allows employees to independently practice their skills and make mistakes in ways that are not always feasible or safe in the real world.

Learn how this technology is applied to teach a variety of professional and technical skills.

surgical and medical skills

A female neurosurgeon wearing a virtual reality headset uses a controller

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Many universities and medical colleges are now using VR, AR, and MR as a safe and cost-effective way to train medical professionals. The American Board of Internal Medicine encourages the use of VR training before residents perform surgical interventions on real patients. This training approach allows residents to practice skills as often as needed, increasing their ability and effectiveness.

For example, emergency responders at the Ohio State University School of Medicine are using VR to learn how to triage patients, and those at the University of Miami’s Miller College of Medicine are treating trauma patients who have suffered heart attacks or gunshot wounds. An educator uses VR to teach a resident her UConn Health orthopedic surgery. The World Health Organization is also using AR to train health workers in dealing with COVID-19.

customer service

Two office workers with virtual reality headsets working at the table

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VR makes customer service training more effective. This is because it puts employees in a realistic situation and can be completed in a short amount of time at their convenience.

H&R Block is using VR to teach call center workers customer service skills. The technology allows staff to practice solving customer problems and to calmly role-play during difficult conversations. The company says using VR to train its employees has cut the number of dissatisfied customers in half, with 70% of his employees preferring this new approach to traditional training. I am reporting.

Walmart also uses VR-based customer service training that focuses on empathy. The company reports positive results with this method, including improved employee retention, increased employee trust, and a 10-15% increase in his training test scores.

technical skills

Mechanical engineer wearing virtual reality headset

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Skilled trade workers use immersive training through companies such as Interplay, which has developed online and VR training platforms for various trades. Hands-on learning experiences are available for specialties such as electrical, HVAC, and plumbing. Learning modules include practice diagnosing and solving common problems workers face in the field, step-by-step guides, and quizzes to test your understanding.

The use of VR training has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Interplay reporting a 445% increase in 2020. Renton Technical College is one of the schools that has started using AR and VR in their automotive programs during the pandemic. We have found that simulating core skills such as changing car oil and brakes is more beneficial than having students read about these processes in a book.

Oil and gas facility safety

Person wearing virtual reality glasses in an industrial environment

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Oil and gas companies use VR training to introduce staff to new facilities such as refineries and offshore platforms, allowing them to safely explore these settings via virtual environments. Similar to the trade industry, the need to work remotely has increased the use of VR in oil and gas training during the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, companies such as Shell and Saudi Aramco continue to use the technology as employees return to the office.

ExxonMobile also uses advanced VR technology to teach oil and gas technician trainees how to assess problems and respond in realistic settings such as virtual tanker loading docks. If trainees make mistakes while running these scenarios, staff can learn from them in a risk-free environment.

Emergency response

Fire truck and firefighters in the foreground

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Law enforcement officers are called upon daily to respond to a variety of emergencies that are often dangerous, difficult to manage, and difficult to implement. But virtual reality offers law enforcement agencies a way to simulate these situations.

For example, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office in Arkansas is using VR to train police officers to de-escalate. Because VR offers endless practice opportunities. For example, one officer may be practicing responding to mental health emergencies in a hospital while another is practicing responding to intoxicated individuals in public.

The Emergency Response Training and Certification Association, a Pennsylvania nonprofit, reports that this immersive training helps improve communication, decision-making, equipment skills and physical skills.

In 2022, the Public Safety Immersive Test Center opened in Boulder, Colorado, offering free VR training to first responders. Simulations range from severe weather to active shooting events. In one scenario, a firefighter uses his VR headset to visualize a room burning while practicing moving around a safe physical space and finding trapped victims.

This story was originally published on Tovuti LMS and produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.