Over the past many years, with the development in technology, both Augmented reality and Virtual reality has made some big leaps. One such area where Augmented reality and Virtual reality continues to make significant strides is -e-learning.
Although these technologies have not made a mark on the e-learning industry, the continued growth of the global markets for AR and VR is a promising sign. Additionally, the increasing investment in AR and VR indicate significant potential for future growth in the e-learning industry. Goldman Sachs estimates that roughly $700 million will be invested in AR/VR applications in education by 2025.

Hence, today let’s explore core areas of application of AR and VR in e-learning with reference to corporate learning.

1.Compliance training 

From the past many years, the general perception towards compliance training remains unchanged as the learners consider it boring, disengaging and time-consuming affair. With the entry of AR and VR  in e-learning, the organisations can expect a turnaround as the learners will start loving the compliance training experiences build using VR and AR. Here the learners can learn by practicing in an immersive virtual environment that can simulate the real world environment.

For example last year we saw the release of a VR based compliance training program in accordance with the OSHA guidelines. The training takes place in a fully rendered and realistic 3D training environment. The training and assessment activities are specifically designed to challenge workers on their knowledge of OSHA safety regulations and compliance.

2.On the job training

On-the-job training is a hands-on method of training the learner with the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to perform a specific job within the workplace. While the traditional e-learning techniques fail in offering effective on the job training experience, the use of VR and AR is sure to make inroads in offering immersive on the job training experience.
For example, the global brand, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) trains their cooks using Virtual Reality, the learners play as a pair of hands working over a fryer. The scenario requires handling chicken pieces and inspecting, rinsing, breading, racking, and pressure-frying the food.
In another popular example, Walmart the retail giant uses immersive VR technology to prepare the employees for dealing with the busy holiday shopping experience like on a Black Friday. The learner experiences various simulations that show how the crowds will respond to sale items and how the salesperson and the storekeeper can respond to confrontations and learn how to manage big crowds.

3.Critical skills training

The immersive nature of VR allows the organisation to take the benefit of using VR for training the workers on the most critical skills. Like health care organizations are increasingly using VR to train surgeons on new techniques and procedures in a risk-free environment. In other areas where the employees require extreme precision like aircraft manufacturing, assembling etc. also VR is being used. For example, the leading aircraft manufacturer Boeing uses VR technology to train their workers. Boeing has created VR images of the body of the airplane, with detailed, exact visuals of the wires that have to be connected, the trainees are taken through the module and see exactly what has to be done, making training faster and easier for new engineers and it resulted in a 40 percent improvement in productivity

For more information on applications of AR and VR in e-learning, please refer our youtube video.

4.Training in hazardous situations

In manufacturing organisations like oil and natural gas, power plants and chemical manufacturing industries etc training the employees on the machinery and processes, working with heights or working in hazardous places like mines etc is dangerous without gaining the adequate skills and knowledge. The immersive virtual environment developed using VR and AR technology helps the organisation to train the learners on challenging and dangerous situations The virtual reality environment can simulate the real working experiences to train the workers without the fear of making any mistakes. Also, the learner can repeat the learning process ‘n’ number of time to earn mastery over it.

5.Employee onboarding

Studies have shown that employee onboarding has a direct correlation to job satisfaction and employee retention. The employees are most likely to leave the organization if there is no established onboarding program. T
he organisations are exploring the ways to enjoy the benefit of using VR and AR in employee onboarding to make the experience more lively and engaging for the new hires. Also, Virtual Reality training can make new hires feel confident in their roles.

For example, the popular online learning platform Udemy has a unique onboarding program(Udemy Go) that uses AR technology to train new hires and successfully onboard them. The new hires are sent for a scavenger hunt to collect the maximum number of welcome balloons and lead the leaderboard. The learner learns by moving around, answering the questions, knowing more about the company, its cultures etc in a fun and engaging way. Moreover, learners can use own smartphones for participating in the onboarding learning process.

The future looks very interesting especially for the organisations in the manufacturing sector where the new hires can get familiarized with the manufacturing set up even before they join the organization. In the early stages of the onboarding process i.e during the stage of pre-induction, the organisations can allow the new hires to take a virtual tour of the environment.

6.Product training

AR and VR can disrupt the existing training methods in product training like classroom training or traditional forms of e-learning etc. Like to train the workers on product training, the organization can choose to include AR and VR technology and train the workers on a virtually simulated working environment. Training becomes easier, as workers are given a visual, hands-on experience in front of the machines, and this leads to improved assembly, and maintenance as the learner can immediately put the things into practice.

For example, The leading carmaker and automobile group Volkswagen has plans to train 10000 of workers using Virtual reality. The VR experience is expected to include  30 VR training experiences cover everything from vehicle assembly, new team member training, and customer service. In 2013, the same company had used AR  training methods to train their workers in servicing the car. The future will see more organisations to embrace VR and AR  even to train their workers on repairing of the machines

7.Sales training

Sales teams play a key role in the success of any business. For every organisation, it is very important to ensure that the sales team is effectively trained and are updated with the sales training skills, product knowledge and more. With the developments in AR and VR, these latest technological innovation is sure to find a prominent place in sales training.

For example, there are organizations like Virtual Speech that deliver VR training courses for the sales team. Here the salesperson is immersed in a virtual environment where he/she can practice his/her selling and negotiation skills with a virtual personalized avatar. Different sales scenario modules can be loaded into VR and the salesperson can keep improving and master the skill.

8.Soft skills training

Soft skills are always an important element in a corporate environment. But in the last few years, there is an increasing demand for soft skill in the workplace and there is a visible gap in what the modern employees possess and what the employers require in the workplace.
The traditional training technologies of classroom training remained more as one size fits all approach of learning as learners behave differently in similar situations. Using VR and AR for soft skills training can help the learners to take individual learning path making it more relatable.  Hence, the organisation can soon see the wider use of VR and AR technologies in learning to train the workers on soft skill training topics. There are already many mobile apps and resources available in the market today that uses the VR and AR technology to train the learners on various soft skill requirements like-Virtual Orator, Speech Center VR, Public Speaking Simulator VR.

9.Other areas

AR and VR, when combined with microlearning strategy, is another innovative way to engage the learners.let’s look at some innovative ways of using AR/VR activities for microlearning.

9.1 Practical Online Assessments

With VR experiences the organization can design practical online assessments as micro-nuggets. The organisation can choose to include microlearning scenarios created using Virtual reality or Augmented reality where the learner is required to implement the things learned and the organisation can gauge the performance of the learner live with instant feedback.

9.2 VR infographics

VR infographics are the new way of creating infographics that delivers an immersive experience to the user.

9.3 Virtual Case studies

The immersive learning experience delivered using AR and VR can help an organization to create visual case studies that can rebuild the scenario. The use of immersive visuals transfers the learner to an engaging experience which is never achieved through a text-based case study

Here are the 9 core areas of application of  AR and VR in e-learning. Feel free to share your suggestions and recommendation using the comment box below

For more information on applications of AR and VR in e-learning, please refer our youtube video.