The growing influence of virtual reality education (2023)

During the pandemic, when Kim Iorns looked for a way to build trust and empathy with new call center agents at her company, she didn't initially turn to traditional distance learning methods like e-learning or training videos. Iorns, director of learning and development at tax services firm H&R Block, instead used virtual reality (VR) training to put these new hires in highly realistic job simulations that allowed them to practice the soft skills needed to support clients during fear. tax crisis is a critical preparation process.

Iorns had found that while most new agents picked up the relevant tax skills quickly, many lacked the human touch that was critical to calming nerves and generating repeat business for H&R Block clients. "Listening to the calls, we knew most of our agents were doing their jobs right, but we didn't always feel that human element in the interactions," says Iorns. “It is important to empathize with clients when they are struggling with tax issues, often under time constraints. When it comes to the world's money, the stakes are high."

Iorns wanted training that would be more emotionally connected to the content and mimic real service scenarios as closely as possible. It has partnered with VR training provider Mursion to create 2D simulations where small groups of agents take turns interacting with digital avatars using a software platform and web cameras. The avatars slip into the roles of clients, presenting common questions and challenges H&R Block clients face — and sometimes falling back into scenarios of things agents say or do to test them. All trainees receive detailed feedback on their performance in the simulations.

Iorns says this highly immersive form of training has helped new employees acquire skills faster than other learning methods. "It's not unusual to hire someone to take calls 15 days before the end of the tax season," says Iorns. “But we found that those hired at the end of the season who had completed even one VR training sim performed just as well as many agents hired at the beginning of the tax season. That told us a lot about the impact of virtual reality education.”

The VR training completed by 1,780 new agents also had an impact on other key performance indicators in the call center environment. For example, the average time customers spend in line has been reduced by 50 percent because new agents can reach their capacity faster and resolve customer issues more efficiently. “Post-training surveys have also shown a decrease in dissatisfied customers, which we believe is due to increased empathy and care from our agents,” says Iorns.

The growing influence of virtual reality education (1)"To get people to really engage and take action, they need to see it happening right in front of their eyes." After virtual reality simulations, the response from managers is often, 'Wow, this is really like and touch.'

New Applications

As face-to-face instruction has been put on hold during the pandemic, more companies have turned to VR training because it's more accessible and has a proven track record of teaching remote workers. In the past, VR simulations were intended for workplace safety training or demanding scenarios such as learning a function or flying an airplane. Today, VR simulations are used to teach soft skills. awareness of diversity, equality and inclusion; and provide practice in dealing with difficult conversations in the workplace. Experts say technology is especially good at creating an emotional impact on students that leads to a lasting change in behavior or mindset.

A 2019 study by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on the use of VR training for soft skills found that VR simulations helped employees learn more compared to traditional training methods - self-directed online learning and classroom instruction. confidence in their ability to acquire learned faster and formed a stronger emotional connection to the training content.

The study examined the impact of using VR in training new PwC managers in inclusive leadership skills. New managers at 12 US sites completed the same training in one of three learning methods: classroom training, e-learning, or virtual reality training. Learners received a pre-assessment before and a post-assessment immediately after completing the course. 30 days later, they conducted another assessment to assess retention of learning.

"We found that realism and performance feedback in virtual reality simulations helped people learn faster and retain more information about soft skills," said Scott Likens, head of new services and emerging technologies at PwC, who helped oversee of studying. “It is difficult to create such an emotional connection through a method like e-learning created in a VR simulation. Virtual reality affects more of the student's senses and is suitable for any type of education that involves emotions such as building empathy.”

The PwC study also found that VR-trained workers got up to speed four times faster than classroom learners and nearly twice as fast as e-learners. "Many lessons that would normally take an hour could be completed in 20 minutes through virtual reality because people are so immersed in scenarios, there are fewer distractions, and the learning is very focused," Likens says.

The study also highlighted other benefits VR can have over methods commonly used to teach soft skills, such as role-playing in a classroom with facilitator feedback. "You can ask the same question to a virtual avatar or perform the same task 1,000 times without losing patience," write the authors of the PwC study.

The issue of cost

Learning experts emphasize that VR training does not meet all needs and should be tailored to the situations best suited to the medium. However, many also say that the increasing affordability of the technology has made it more accessible to more companies' learning budgets. Fully immersive 3D virtual reality typically requires an investment in a user headset and off-the-shelf software or custom development to create simulations tailored to specific business needs. VR glasses are not required for 2D training simulations, but access to software platforms or modern computer cameras used by the trainees.

The PwC study found that purchasing an enterprise headset ecosystem represents an average one-time charge of less than $1,000. To reduce these costs, many companies re-use VR headsets with multiple users - while making sure to thoroughly sanitize them. The study found that the cost of VR training is comparable or even lower than other modes of training when deployed on a large scale.

For example, when the training size in the PwC study reached 375 students, VR training reached cost parity with classroom learning for a customized course. When the volume reached 3,000 students, virtual reality was 52 percent more cost-effective than the classroom. The fewer employees a company trains, the higher the cost per student for VR training, Likens says.

The PwC study also found that more and more VR training providers are developing software packages that allow non-VR developers to create their own content in a cost-effective manner. "We're seeing more and more tools and templates that can help companies create their own VR simulations, scenarios and stories," Likens says. "Just a year or two ago, this required more custom programming skills." In addition, most established learning management system vendors now allow easy integration of VR content into their platforms.

Jeanne Meister, managing director of Future Workplace, an HR consulting, research and membership firm in New York, says that during the pandemic, more companies have turned to virtual reality for skills training as the medium becomes more manageable Cost and unique ability improvement provides interpersonal skills of employees.


The likely continuation of remote work even after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued shift from classroom learning could lead to even more widespread use of VR education in the future, experts say. Scott Likens, head of new services and emerging technologies at PwC, already sees a growing use of technology in a new area: facilitating collective decision-making.

"We're seeing increased demand for multi-user sessions where students talk, interact and brainstorm together in simulated environments," Likens says. "It's a good educational approach for any type of project that requires people to think or envision together in the same space, whether in small or large groups."

Others agree that VR training could expand as costs continue to drop and innovative technology providers improve the medium's ability to mimic real-world job challenges.

"There will continue to be a lot of people working from home, and more and more organizations will be thinking about whether they really need to bring people together for in-person learning," says Jeanne Meister, managing director of executive search, research and membership. company Future Workplace. "Both good for using VR training for soft skills and other situations where creating an emotional impact leads to better retention and application of what is learned." —D.Z.

Embracing the human element

Meister says soft skills like active listening or empathy will become more valuable in the future as technologies like artificial intelligence take over many of the manual, repetitive tasks in professions and let humans handle areas where machines naturally excel.

"As automation takes over more and more aspects of work, people must solve problems for customers or colleagues that require empathy, judgment and working well with others to find solutions," says Meister.

Virtual reality simulations have also proven to be an effective way to help managers practice difficult job interviews, such as firing an employee or giving performance feedback. And retailers and banks have recently used the technology to teach their employees how to de-escalate situations where customers refuse to wear masks in stores or how to react in the event of shoplifting.

Telecom company T-Mobile used VR training to help its executives practice dealing with changing business conditions as it prepared to merge with Sprint. The training allowed T-Mobile managers to develop skills in navigating change management conversations, both voicing their own concerns and dealing with objections from unruly team members, says Barb Schiebehard, senior director of learning and development at T-Mobile. Mobile.

VR simulations were performed in 30-minute increments at times convenient for administrators. T-Mobile has now expanded its VR training to include topics such as supporting injured workers in racial injustice incidents, Schieberhard says.

Bring DE&I training to life

Many learning leaders have found that virtual reality simulations can be a good complement to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) education. "There's a lot of excitement about DE&I today, but it's hard to really get to the bottom of it," said Josh Bersin, noted HR industry analyst and founder and dean of the Josh Bersin Academy in Oakland, California. “One problem is that much of the training in this area has focused on compliance rather than organizational change. The value of good VR training is that learners experience first-hand the challenges faced by different employees or candidates and leave a lasting impact. Virtual reality simulations are different because you remember exactly what happened as if you had the experience yourself.”

Cornell Verdeja-Woodson, founder and president of Brave Training, a San Francisco-based consulting firm specializing in workforce diversity and inclusion, used VR training from provider Vantage Point to educate managers about unconscious bias in hiring decisions when he was global head. of diversity at data provider Looker, a company that has since been acquired by Google.

"We've done workshops on this before, but no training on what to actually do when you see bias or harassment," says Verdeja-Woodson. “To get people to really engage and take action, they have to see it in front of their eyes. After virtual reality simulations, the reaction of managers is often: "Wow, it can really look and feel like that."

In a VR simulation the company used, employees were gathered in a room waiting for a big presentation, and one of the male avatars made comments about the sexuality of a male colleague.

"It was a good opportunity to have discussions among the students about what they would do in that moment if they were faced with such comments, especially when others might have thought it was just someone joking," says Verdeja-Woodson.

Dave Zielinski is a freelance business reporter and editor based in Minneapolis.

Illustrated by Michael Korfhage forHR magazine


How does virtual reality impact education? ›

So, in summary virtual reality helps education by creating immersive lessons that are engaging, memorable and impactful for students. These VR experiences improve learning outcomes and help students build important interpersonal skills such as empathy, collaboration, and social skills needed for the future.

What is the impact of VR on educational learning rather than games can VR be a substitute for real-life experience of the students? ›

Virtual reality can improve education by providing students with memorable and immersive experiences that would otherwise not be possible. What's more, it can all take place within the classroom. VR is accessible to every student and can be easily monitored by teachers.

What is virtual reality in education how would you describe it? ›

Virtual reality is an emerging technology in classrooms to supplement the teaching of a subject or topic to in order to 'feel' the content. Beyond engagement, VR allows students to explore, experience, and become immersed in virtual environments.

What do you think the greatest draw backs are of learning with virtual reality in the classroom? ›

Major Disadvantages
  • A lack of real communication. The traditional education is based on personal human interaction. ...
  • A lack of flexibility. Though VR allows for studying various aspects, it's not as flexible as it should be. ...
  • Possible problems with the functioning. ...
  • The issue of addiction. ...
  • Great costs.

What is the conclusion of virtual reality in education? ›

Conclusion. To conclude, virtual reality (VR) can revolutionize teaching and learning. The technology offers immersive learning experiences that provide countless ways to experience the world around them, promoting collaboration and increasing engagement and motivation.

Why virtual reality is the future of education? ›

Third, VR is an incredibly engaging way to learn. Gamification is a powerful tool, and VR can make learning feel more like a game than a chore. This is especially beneficial for teenagers, who are often difficult to engage in education. Finally, VR has the potential to break down barriers to education.

What are most important benefits of using virtual reality? ›

VR can improve the grasping of core concepts among students and trainees. The technology also allows the learner to decide their own pace of learning. Visualizing the invisible can transform learners' learning experience, helping them understand and retain information longer.

What are benefits of virtual reality? ›

VR can also be used to become more empathetic, better manage stress and increase self-confidence in specific situations. Furthermore, by collecting data on user behaviours and performance, this technology allows training to be fine-tuned and personalized with great precision.

What is the advantage of virtual reality? ›

Accessibility: Specially-abled people can use virtual reality to access and interact with environments and experiences that are difficult or impossible in the real world. Cost-effectiveness: One of the advantages of VR is that it can be a cheaper way to learn than traditional methods, like simulations or field trips.

How do you implement virtual reality in the classroom? ›

Here are just some examples of how you can use VR in your lessons:
  1. Go on a virtual field trip. ...
  2. Bring science to life. ...
  3. Recreate real-life structures. ...
  4. Create fictional spaces. ...
  5. Solve mysteries. ...
  6. Become the story.

What is the conclusion of virtual reality? ›

Conclusion: Virtual reality and Augmented reality are inverse reflections of one in another, regarding what each technology wants to accomplish. Augmented reality overlays virtual elements in the real world, while virtual reality digitally recreates a real-life setting.

What is good example of virtual reality? ›

A common example of semi-immersive VR is the flight simulator, which is used by airlines and militaries to train their pilots. Fully immersive. This type of VR delivers the greatest level of virtual reality, completely immersing the user in the simulated 3D world. It incorporates sight, sound and, in some cases, touch.

What positive things happened because of virtual learning? ›

An online education provides a welcome environment for working adults who need to balance work and family with the new demands of going back to school. Right away, you save hours every week not having to commute back and forth to classes on a campus—and that's just the beginning.

Why is virtual reality training better? ›

It creates a safe and controlled environment, is cost-effective, increases engagement and retention, and is flexible and scalable. As organizations look for more innovative and effective ways to train their employees, VR training is a viable option that offers a unique and engaging learning experience.

How does virtual reality help us in the future? ›

VR has the Ability to Bring Space to YOU

In the physical world, if we want to experience a certain space, we are often required to bring our physical bodies to those exact coordinates on Earth. In the virtual world, we can capture space and bring it directly to us, no matter where our physical bodies reside.

What is the goal of virtual learning? ›

Among the many benefits of online learning, you'll find that virtual education allows you to enjoy a more flexible schedule, can reduce the cost of your degree, and can allow you to more easily develop your career alongside furthering your education.

What is the importance of virtual simulation in education? ›

The simulation serves many educational objectives such as “goal of acquiring skills” in an environment similar to reality, and also serves the “cognitive goal” as it helps the learner to gain a lot of knowledge about the real work environment and its requirements.

Is virtual learning beneficial to education? ›

This customized learning is a major benefit of virtual education. Each student's specific learning style can be met through a customized education. The flexibility allows students more time to pursue hobbies or extracurriculars. With such a flexible schedule, students can join more outside of school.

Is virtual learning the future of education? ›

Online Learning Is the Future of Education

Now, there are more classes and opportunities offered remotely. The pandemic proved many in-person careers can work remotely, and this has opened the door for people to work from home even as restrictions eased. Current educational opportunities follow that same trend.

Why is virtual reality becoming popular? ›

Over the last few years, VR has become more widely adopted due to increasing consumer and enterprise demand, growing use cases, and a booming ecosystem. An Emerged Research report predicts VR markets will reach around $1.25 billion USD by 2025.

What is the main point of virtual reality? ›

WHAT IS VIRTUAL REALITY? Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated environment with scenes and objects that appear to be real, making the user feel they are immersed in their surroundings. This environment is perceived through a device known as a Virtual Reality headset or helmet.

How might virtual reality training benefit people in society? ›

Improves retention and recall. Simplifies complex problems/situations. Suitable for different learning styles. Innovative and enjoyable.

What is unique about virtual reality? ›

VR. Interactive Virtual Reality

Virtual reality can recreate sensory experiences, which include virtual sight, sound, and touch. Whereas Augmented Reality supplements the real world, Virtual Reality (VR) creates an artificial one.

What are the pros and cons of virtual reality? ›

Comparison Table for Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Reality
Advantages of Virtual realityDisadvantages of Virtual reality
It creates a realistic worldTechnology is complex
Help in providing trainingAddiction to Virtual Reality
Lowest riskImpact on the real human body
4 more rows
Jun 20, 2022

How do you make a virtual classroom more effective? ›

Five Critical Steps to Creating a Successful Virtual Classroom Experience
  1. By Verity Creedy.
  2. Suitability. Virtual classroom can effectively deliver training, but it isn't always the right way. ...
  3. Interactivity. ...
  4. Variety. ...
  5. Minimal Technical Glitches. ...
  6. A Skilled Facilitator.

How do you engage students in virtual learning? ›

Check out these seven student engagement strategies:
  1. Be present.
  2. Create interesting learning materials.
  3. Provide 1-to-1 sessions.
  4. Assign some group work.
  5. Create an online forum for discussions.
  6. Provide and ask for a regular feedback.
  7. Challenge students.
Dec 6, 2021

What is the use of virtual classroom in education? ›

A virtual classroom is an online teaching and learning environment where teachers and students can present course materials, engage and interact with other members of the virtual class, and work in groups together. The key distinction of a virtual classroom is that it takes place in a live, synchronous setting.

How virtual reality change our life? ›

Another use of VR is in mental health therapy and meditation. The immersive nature of VR provides the flexibility to create various types of environments or experiences. Accordingly, VR can be used to experience situations that are hard to come by in real life, or that can be dangerous to go through in real life.

How has virtual reality impacted our lives? ›

One of the most significant impacts of VR and AR on society is in the field of entertainment. Virtual reality headsets and devices are already being used to create immersive gaming experiences, as well as to offer viewers an unparalleled sense of presence and engagement with their favorite movies and TV shows.

What are two uses of virtual reality in everyday life? ›

VR can also be used as a treatment for mental health issues, with Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy thought to be particularly effective in the treatment of PTSD and anxiety. There are many other ways spending time in VR can have therapeutic benefits. Osso VR provide a surgical training and assessment tool.

Which two features are most important for virtual reality? ›

Explanation: Immersion and Interaction are most important for virtual reality to provide a smooth and enjoyable experience for the user.

How did virtual learning impact youth? ›

In a nationwide survey of parents (N = 1290) of children aged 5 to 12, for instance, children who attended virtual school were more likely to have decreased physical activity as compared with those students attending school in-person and combined in-person and virtual school (62.9%, 30.3%, and 52.1%, respectively.

Why is virtual learning better than in-person? ›

More Equitable, Accessible Learning

Online courses allow students to learn at their own pace on their own schedule, which is an approach to studying known as asynchronous learning. This format empowers students to take notes, review lectures, and go over other course materials in a way that works best for them.

Why is in school learning better than virtual? ›

Students participating in in-person learning also benefit from more collaborative and hands-on work with their peers. Students can more easily ask questions and solve problems directly with teachers and peers in real-time.

Why does virtual reality enhance instruction? ›

2.1 Benefits of VR/AR Technologies

Immersive VR technologies allow multi-sensory interaction and learners can construct meaning from experience. It makes the teaching of complex or abstract ideas useful as it provides a means of visualization and allows natural hypothesis making (Christou, 2010).

How does virtual reality affect children? ›

Children may not be able to understand how to communicate eyestrain and may even lack the reflexes to remove the devices if they feel cramped wearing them. Even worse, they simply might get too engrossed in gaming and overlook the uncomfortableness.

What are the effects of virtual reality? ›

Exposure to virtual reality can disrupt the sensory system and lead to symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, sweating, pallor, loss of balance, etc., which are grouped together under the term "virtual reality sickness".

What is the goal of virtual reality? ›

Virtual reality is a simulated 3D environment that enables users to explore and interact with a virtual surrounding in a way that approximates reality, as it is perceived through the users' senses.

What are 3 advantages of VR? ›

Here are some reasons why VR is good: Enhanced Learning Improved Customer Experience Increased Engagement Virtual Travel Enhanced Therapy Virtual Reality Benefits - Detailed Information Enhanced Learning The use of VR in education has shown promising results in enhancing learning outcomes.

How virtual reality is keeping kids from engaging with the real world? ›

Decreased social interaction

Since screen time takes away their focus from their surroundings, their capability to interact and communicate nullifies dramatically. This diminishes the importance of relationships and human interaction as they are safe and cosy in the cocoon of the virtual world.

What are the advantages of virtual reality for kids? ›

i) The Advantages of VR in Education

The use of virtual reality for kids in education offers a powerful tool for enhancing learning and promoting academic success. With its ability to provide immersive, hands-on experiences. VR has the potential to transform the way kids learn and engage with new concepts.

What are the cons of using VR in the classroom? ›

Cons of Virtual Reality in the Classroom
  • It can be a bit expensive to purchase and maintain.
  • It can be difficult to manage the headset for large groups of students.
  • It can be difficult to keep students engaged in the experience.
  • It can be difficult to create realistic simulations.
Mar 22, 2023

How has virtual reality changed the world? ›

VR has the Ability to Bring Space to YOU

In the physical world, if we want to experience a certain space, we are often required to bring our physical bodies to those exact coordinates on Earth. In the virtual world, we can capture space and bring it directly to us, no matter where our physical bodies reside.

What are the positives & negatives of virtual reality? ›

Pros and cons of Virtual Reality
Pros and Cons of VR
Gives detail viewsUsers addict to the virtual world
Connects with peopleTechnology is still experimental
Effective communicationTraining in VR environment is not real
3 more rows


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Sen. Ignacio Ratke

Last Updated: 10/15/2023

Views: 5697

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Sen. Ignacio Ratke

Birthday: 1999-05-27

Address: Apt. 171 8116 Bailey Via, Roberthaven, GA 58289

Phone: +2585395768220

Job: Lead Liaison

Hobby: Lockpicking, LARPing, Lego building, Lapidary, Macrame, Book restoration, Bodybuilding

Introduction: My name is Sen. Ignacio Ratke, I am a adventurous, zealous, outstanding, agreeable, precious, excited, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.