I recently had a daughter, and watching her grow and change has been fascinating on multiple levels. Perhaps the most incredible thing to witness is how she is beginning to understand and conceptualize the 3-dimensional world around her. The cognitive milestones she is passing are universal, and each and every one of us has followed a similar trajectory. In fact, one way of thinking about our growth as individuals, from infancy to childhood, is as quite literally the process of building a mental framework of our 3-dimensional reality. A toddler can see a block on the floor, can estimate the space between her hand and the object, and can reach out and grab it with practice. She can then try to put that block on a table, and if it falls on the floor, she will know to step closer to the table next time. In this way, action by action, month by month, year by year, all of us become masters at intuitively understanding 3-dimensional space.
Unfortunately, as we enter grade school, most of our accumulated societal knowledge is taught not in 3D, but in 2D: through books, on a computer screen, or with a blackboard. The reasons for this are largely pragmatic; it was impractical and in many instances impossible to fully immerse students in environments that can teach them about most subjects, and there was until very recently no alternative. We are forced to learn through symbols on flat surfaces, and we are thus forced to learn by translation: translation of words, figures, and pictures into 3D scenes, relationships, and schemas.
Educators have sought countless ways to deploy this status quo learning paradigm at scale. For example, in the early 2000’s e-learning (essentially using the computer and the internet infrastructure to deliver and assess curriculum outside of the traditional classroom) became popular among businesses and still remains popular today. We get it - it’s easy to access and deploy, but be honest: do you find yourself opening up other tabs and distracting yourself with what’s in those other tabs instead? We thought so.
There’s always an opportunity for more immersive learning with role-playing or live trainers, but while these may be highly memorable, they aren’t scalable or consistent. Ultimately, nothing will have as much of an effect on an employee than the training they have on-the-job.
With virtual reality-based learning, you can replicate that real-world practice at scale and gain a more captive audience, leading to increased engagement, retention, and deeper diagnostic insights. This new kind of learning will inevitably lead to more informed decision-making for your business.
Featured Training Project: Unconsious Bias Simulation
In a recent partnership with Red Hat, we developed two virtual reality modules to supplement existing, classroom-based training on unconscious bias. The simulation immerses learners in live-action hiring and performance calibration situations, challenging them to identify biased moments in the conversations they observe. Participants are then asked to indicate how they would take corrective action. In addition to providing a safe practice environment for soft-skill building, the simulation serves as an assessment tool, providing the Leadership & Development team new insights on the organization’s proficiency at identifying and engaging instances of unconscious bias in the workplace.
Written by Mike McArdle
Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder, Lucid Dream VR