I think everyone has been in the situation of sitting through training sessions where you are either confused, bored or have no idea what is being discussed, or the trifecta of all the above! This happened to me when I was going through my inductions to start working on a mine site.
Fresh from Uni I was excited to begin work, though first I needed to get through the first week of inductions. For all the people who had either previously worked in a mining environment, or studied mining engineering (I studied mechanical), they had a broader understanding of the different areas, equipment and environments. My university studies had been almost all theory based and had little (useful) practical experience, so when it came time to enter the real world, I was trying to gain as much information as quickly as possible.
Only so much can be learnt from a projector screen, diagrams and handouts (I did read them all). I was still sitting in the hall of the RSL club in the town closest to the mine, and some of the things that we were being taught just didn’t make sense, I needed to actually experience them.
Experiential learning is the process of learning through doing. Research supports the idea that the recollection of information is higher when we can experience things ourselves, rather than being told about concepts or observing them.
It is often impractical or impossible to take new employees to different sites to get them to gain this experiential learning, and would be almost impossible to organise different scenarios and situations to play out in a safe and controlled manner. Wouldn’t it be great if I could be sitting in that RSL hall and actually experience walking around the dragline, seeing the longwall in action and see what to do in an emergency response?
Walmart is currently rolling out 17,000 headsets to over 1 million of their employees in the US. Why? I think this comment from Walmart’s Andy Trainor sums it up well – “the great thing about VR is its ability to make learning experiential. When you watch a module through the headset, your brain feels like you actually experienced a situation. We’ve also seen that VR training boosts confidence and retention rates while improving test scores 10 to 15 percent.”
There is no doubt that VR is a great training tool, however the limiting factor for many businesses has been the considerable investment required. For large companies like Walmart these costs can be spread over many employees, for the majority of businesses these costs are very prohibitive. No longer are expensive headsets required, with the self-contained Oculus Go retailing for US$199. On the content side, complex 3D models and simulated training environments aren’t required to deliver an experiential experience. VR video and photography are the scaleable, low-cost solution that will help make VR training mainstream. Record once, deliver over-and-over again.
Lateral Vision is currently running a pilot program using VR video and photography. To find out more information and see if this would be a good fit for your business, please visit – https://lateralvision.com.au/vr-training-first-access