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Can VR training replace classroom learning?

Compared to traditional learning, VR help employees make a deeper understanding about their jobs through experiential learning.

Offering high-level trainings to their employees is key for the success of any company these days. As such, learning methologies are evolving to keep up to industrial, corporate and societal needs. In this article we take for example the most traditional learning method, classroom learning, which has been the solution to educate millions of people world-wide through the past centuries, the question is: Can VR training replace classroom learning?

To answer this question shortly, we must think on the learning process, which can be structured in 3 parts: On one side, we have students who are willing to learn something, for example, how to repair a car. On the other side, we have teachers that in the best case scenario they possess the necessary knowledge about car mechanics and are commited to share their knowledge to the students. Finally, we have a medium or an environment that shall facilitate knowledge transfer, in the most traditional way that would be a classroom. That being said, thinking again on the reason why learning is evolving we can acknowledge the role of schools to prepare the population to fulfill corporate, industrial and societal needs, from technical knowledge and soft skills to inculcate social and moral responsibilities, schools have been adapting their education to prepare humans to deal with present and future challenges in the world.

Combining both ideas, the role of schools to prepare people to meet the world’s needs and the learning process that seems to always involve students-teachers-learning environment, it becomes more evident that learning methodologies, such as classroom learning, are continuosly evolving in a such as way that facilitates as much as possible the student-teacher-learning environment learning process, allowing students to learn skills as fast as possible to fulfill the world’s needs.

Now we can finally go back to the question, can VR learning replace classroom learning? VR trainings are every day more widely used as it has been shown that VR can help people make more meaningful connections by allowing learners to practice skills that help them relate to diverse perspectives in the real world. So, it is true that VR learning is better than classroom learning at every level. Unfortunately, being a better learning tool is not the only factor to consider when choosing whether a school or an organization should use VR learning or classroom learning, instead, a thorough analysis of the application should be considered. For example, how many students shall be taught at the same time? is interaction necessary? is practice necessary? how much budget do we have to implement the learning solution? do we have internet connectivity? do we have teacher avalability? do we have the proper environment for deliver the class? As you can see, after all even if the potential of VR learning is far beyond classroom learning, we should analyze before hand whether VR learning is the best cost-effective solution without sacrificing learning quality. I think of this process as choosing the right car for my family, we are 5 family members in total and 4 dogs, so even if I think a convertible sports car is by far more appealing and faster thank a familiar mini-van, the mini-van is the right solution for me as it will allow me to transport my family wherever we need.

So in the end, the final answer to the question: Can VR learning replace classroom learning? the answer is yes, it can, but it does not mean it is the only learning methodology available out there. As a hint, we stronly suggest to chosse classroom learning and e-learning in schools and universities, as a VR headset costs around 290 USD and not every student nation-wide can afford to buy one, and teachers might need to create VR content so their students can learn from it.

However, industries and corporations are really getting a benefit out of VR trainings as employees learn 4x faster, VR learnings are more confident to apply their knowledge on real-job scenarios, leading to faster job adoption, reducing mistakes and safety-related errors. On average, our clients have a 12 month ROI when adopting VR trainings as learning methodology for their workforce.

Do you have any comments or would like to see some examples on how we have used VR trainings with other clients? Leave us a message to contact@medusadigital.com.