Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) have gained more prominence in recent years, no doubt due to acquisition of Oculus VR by Facebook in 2014, the low entry requirements of Google Cardboard, and an incredible amount of press coverage around the wave of VR/AR products that are being launched at the moment such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and HTC’s Vive.

But whilst most of the coverage focuses on how consumers – and gamers in particular – are buying into the new tech already, its use as a workplace training/performance support technology is often overlooked.  And this is what we’re exploring in further detail in the VR/AR level of the Elearning Beyond the Next Button MOOC.

So what value does VR and AR really provide and how are they already being used?

Exploring the Case for VR and AR in Learning

There are already lots of examples of VR and AR being used in the workplace from a vocational perspective, and in the MOOC we look at examples such as:

  • Multi-million dollar military projects enabling pilots to see 360 degrees around their aircraft thanks to cameras fitted to the exterior of the aircraft relaying the imagery into their helmets
  • Surgeons who use Google glass to practice on a virtual patients before carrying out the procedure in real-life
  • College students using alternate reality to demonstrate business ideas to appeal to people in a different way.

We’ve also got an example of using VR to create empathy for somebody else’s’ circumstances and a participant has shared their idea of how virtual reality can be used to create empathy for those living in social housing.

So if you think VR/AR is just for gaming and gamers, think again! There is most definitely a place for it within workplace training and education too!

If this a field that you know little or nothing about and want to plug those knowledge gaps, this is a great opportunity to learn and consider some inspirational new ideas and decide for yourself what place VR and AR really have in workplace learning. Lend your voice and maybe learn something new too by joining the MOOC today – See you online!

If you’re interested in a more in-depth look into key topics and trends surrounding learning technologies, don’t forget to check out our other free resources.