So where does VR go in the world of L&D?
We believe 3 specific segments for VR will quickly emerge quite quickly in the L&D/skills space:
- A premium compliance offer for high risk environments using a mix of bespoke and off-the-shelf VR courses
- A significant market in leadership development and communication skills again using a mixture of bespoke and off-the-shelf VR
- High-end bespoke developments in sophisticated skills requirements.
In compliance, VR can certainly add a reality beyond video and turn a passive learning experience into an active one. Compliance is still a major driver for elearning, and there is no doubt that developers have made considerable progress in updating these materials to drive engagement, but VR has the capacity and capability to transform how compliance led elearning is delivered.
In this compliance market segment we see a premium compliance sector emerging for critical tasks in high risk environments quite quickly, especially where evidence of learning is required beyond just a post course assessment.
With the availability of off-the-shelf VR learning experiences we will see this market grow rapidly.
The potential for VR to enter and enhance or disrupt the coaching and personal development training market is huge. If we use Bersin’s training spend allocation by programme figures compliance/mandatory learning is 15-20% of the organisations total expenditure, where management development, interpersonal skills, selling and service represents over 55% of the corporate expenditure (the rest of the expenditure being IT, and professional and specific courses). The US Business Coaching market is valued in excess of $11 billion.
This has been the hardest market for the elearning industry to crack, but it is at least double in size to the compliance market, and one in our view that VR is highly suited to.
The feedback and freedom to fail cannot be overemphasised and the attraction of such a learning environment that is Visual, Kinaesthetic and Auditory will prove very compelling for talent development programmes including communications and presentations, selling skills and more.
The VR experience is compelling in delivering real and immediate feedback that is hugely relevant and will be of immense benefit to the learner. For this reason it will be hugely disruptive in a market that is still largely face to face orientated.
We anticipate strong uptake in this market in the next 12-24 months as the benefits of this type of learning become increasingly obvious and the VR hardware becomes available at more attractive price points.
We expect off-the-shelf materials to emerge and these will be complemented by very specific bespoke VR courses.
We expect high value bespoke courses to emerge in several areas.
Selling skills is one as it is well known in many organisations that the sales teams enjoy the largest training budgets and the impact of the training can be measured and learning analytics integrations between LMS –LRS and CRM will quickly emerge to fully leverage the potential of VR based training.
Healthcare training using simulations is not new, but typically the simulation suites and mannequins have been located in purpose-built facilities causing locational issues as well as capacity and scheduling issues. VR solves many of these problems.
Other complex and high risk activities are obvious settings for this type of engaging learning, where each action of each process or procedure can be analysed and evaluated and individuals equipped for experiences that may not be frequently experienced.
Virtual Reality will not replace more traditional forms of elearning; we foresee video based elearning and interactive elearning growing, but VR will rapidly accelerate in usage in premium compliance, where it will play a growing role.