Ricardo Arriaga
Founder and Innovation Director
Startup Contributor

The Future of Corporate Training is Virtual

By Ricardo Arriaga | Mon, 07/13/2020 - 09:47

Ninety percent of the information received by the brain is visual. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then imagine the value of a visual and interactive experience to train employees and develop experts on demand.

Virtual training is based on exponential technologies such as augmented and virtual reality. With these technologies, it is possible to create uplifting experiences where employees can experience new forms of learning using interactive aids that encourage them to be creative, increase attention and motivation and accelerate learning.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are considered the fourth technological wave and owe their existence to the mobile phone (third wave), the internet (second wave) and the computer (first wave). According to Zion Market Research, the global value of the augmented and virtual reality market is projected to  reach US$814.7 billion by 2025.

Augmented reality (AR) allows the user to interact with digital content displayed in the real world. It is activated from a smartphone or a headset. Currently, most of the AR experiences are deployed on smartphones. However, the adoption of the AR headset is growing and it will be a massive product in the next five years.

Virtual reality (VR) allows a total digital immersion where a person perceives no difference between the real and the virtual. To accomplish this, it is necessary to use a VR headset that completely covers the eyes with a screen. The main difference with augmented reality is keeping a part of the real world in focus on the screen of the headset. There are standalone virtual reality headsets that have a computer and integrated screen. Also, there are mobile VR headsets that take advantage of smartphone computing and its display power.

The printed text is not something the human brain was created for. The printed word is an invention that has worked very well for us for 5,000 years but it is an invention of human beings. On the other hand, mother nature has incorporated into our brain the ability to see the visual world and interpret it, as concluded through years of studying the functioning of the brain in high-level cognitive tasks. This is according to the researcher and pioneer in neuroscience Marcel Just.

We were biologically designed to react to visual stimuli. We have more engagement with images or videos than long text. Human beings learn by doing, experimenting and testing in real environments.

Virtual training generates vivid experiences for employees who develop high levels of cognitive skills by putting kinesthetic, visual and auditory learning into practice. Virtual and augmented reality provide 100 percent visual and immersive environments that are written in our brains as real experiences. As a result, this experience increases the rate of knowledge retention and skill development, accelerating learning.

The best way to understand the essence of a job is doing it. Conventional job training puts employees in theoretical situations they have never been in while augmented reality and virtual reality technologies enable the creation of practical scenarios with digital simulations. Using virtual training, companies can provide learning experiences without the need for physical labs or tools and eliminate the necessity of moving staff from one place to another. 

Information presented with immersive and interactive technology is absorbed faster and retained better, researchers from various universities including Maryland conclude. Virtual training generates emotional and psychological responses as when the work is actually being done – learning by doing – and promotes experiential learning, giving the opportunity to practice and make mistakes in the digital world without fear of making mistakes that generate problems and costs for the organization. Employees get real experience from day one. 

Virtual training can be implemented in any organization. It can be used as part of the training process for permanent and temporary jobs. It can develop new skills and improve employee performance in any company area, with outstanding results in operations, sales and customer service. Also, it is used in onboarding processes, and communicating company mission, vision and values.

Virtual training is very helpful in emergency situations, disaster management, damage prevention, safety rules and adoption of best practices. Company employees can learn by doing interactive activities. They will move from theoretical knowledge to practical skills, analyze, assess their knowledge, enhance creativity, develop critical thinking, problem-solving orientation, and improve their communication skills.

Virtual training can provide a number of key benefits to brands and organizations:

  • Improve the ability to extract information
  • Increase knowledge retention
  • Increase employee participation
  • Facilitate learning anytime, anywhere
  • Reduce risks and costs of special installations and travel
  • Allow obtaining data to know and improve training

The workforce changes rapidly, demanding autonomy, training and new experiences. The new wave – virtual first – is coming and is being accelerated as a result of COVID-19. Are you ready for the next big wave? 

Photo by:   Ricardo Arriaga