The world is embracing the new normal. Since things are not the same as before, people need to generate new skills to adapt to the “new normal.” It means that everyone needs to deal with numerous learning curves.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the US, once said that simple narration of instructions might not stick in the people’s minds. Instead, they would learn more if they will get involved with the process. Science backed up Franklin’s claims since people committed to “experiential learning” can improve their chances of retaining information.
Involvement is one of the major keys for learning in the past, present, and future. However, the current situation where people were forced to stay at home and implement physical distancing made it extra challenging.
The solution: Virtual reality (VR).
By definition, VR is the simulated three-dimensional environment that people can experience using a computer’s sensory stimuli. The person’s reaction to these stimuli may partially determine the next actions in the environment.
In a recent “Future of Learning & Development” interview with “Wired to Grow: Harness the Power of Brain Science to Learn and Master Any Skill” author Dr. Britt Andreatta, she talked about how VR is best used for accelerating the learning process.
According to Andreatta, experiential learning can be the best and most powerful learning process because it develops an incidental memory where the people are in the middle of the activity. It involves all the senses in gathering and encoding data about all the events happening at once.
Out of all the nine different human memory types, episodic memory ignites the highest retention levels of behavior changes and information.
The author also said that VR is an extremely powerful tool because it imitates this learning process. She also cited several studies showing that a person’s VR experience stays in the brain and labels it as a lived memory.
Also, VR is not the same as viewing an educational video on a screen. The person trying to learn can still see and feel that he or she is inside the room. But since VR is deeply engaging, the brains of humans cannot tell the difference and relies on the belief that it is experiencing a real learning experience.
Andreatta also mentioned that different kinds of training are useful for VR. These include:
VR can be useful f the learners feel familiar with a specific location without being physically present in the area. It is useful for cruise ship companies to train their waitstaff in determining the location of all the tables that spread out in the dining area to make sure that the food is served without any problems while on board the ship.
VR can provide unique perks if the learners are required to obtain specific behavioral skills. An example of this is letting job interviewers practice the right way of talking to an artificial candidate by determining and keeping an eye on the body language. They can also use VR to outweigh the person’s unconscious bias.
If the learners must understand a specific process, VR can help increase their efficiency in the skills that they need to learn. Retail managers can use VR to train a new salesperson in an artificial role. Companies that use heavy machines can also use VR to teach their employees how to use their newly-acquired machines like excavators.
Ultimately, Dr. Andreatta said that all companies must begin considering incorporating VR strategies in their operation. Based on today’s situation, businesses can use this technology to help them achieve their learning goals.