Virtual Reality Training Best Practices

This article introduces you to VR training, its benefits, and expert insights to help you implement a successful VR training program.

VR training offers amazing benefits, but they won’t just magically appear once you launch a VR program. You need to be strategic about structuring the initiative, sourcing content, and managing devices.

In this ArborXR article, we’ll give you a quick overview of VR training before diving into five expert tips to ensure your program succeeds.

What Is Virtual Reality Training? 

VR training (also known as immersive learning) uses virtual reality technology to create simulated training environments. Trainees wear VR headsets and use hand-tracking controllers to interact with scenarios designed to prepare them for on-the-job tasks.

VR training has proven to be effective across all kinds of industries, including:

  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Aviation
  • Retail
  • Security

…and more.

Why Should You Care About VR Training? 

Safe Training

Certain training scenarios are too difficult or dangerous to replicate in the real world. 

VR training provides a safe and controlled environment to practice high-risk situations without the potential for injury or damage. You can train firefighters to navigate burning buildings and flight attendants to handle emergency landings—all within a controlled VR environment. 

Fast and Effective

VR training speeds up the learning process. 

Studies show it’s up to 4X faster than traditional methods, and companies like UPS are recording up to 75% decreases in training time. This means your trainees can become proficient in a fraction of the time it would take if you relied only on traditional methods.

More Confidence

An additional benefit? VR trainees feel much more confident using what they’ve learned. Case in point—97% of Bank of America’s trainees felt very confident after their VR training. This is an important result, since confidence is a key factor in applying new skills effectively in real-world situations. 

5 VR Training Best Practices You Shouldn’t Overlook

1. Manage Your Fleet With a VR Device Management Tool

Manually managing a VR training fleet can be a challenge. Take content deployment—if you’re trying to handle this manually, you’ll need to:

  • Track down every VR device in your fleet
  • Plug a device into a computer
  • Copy new content to the device
  • Repeat the process until the entire fleet is updated

With a fleet of hundreds (or thousands) of VR devices, this can quickly become a massive, multi-day undertaking. And it’s just one of many admin tasks that you’ll need to handle regularly if you want to reap the benefits of VR training.

The solution? A mobile device management (MDM) tool—specifically one that’s designed for VR devices. That last point is very important. There are tons of MDM tools out there, but most general providers won’t cut it for VR fleets.

Here’s why:

Inefficient App Management

Managing VR apps on legacy MDM solutions isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. These platforms often restrict you to specific file sizes and involve complex versioning processes. Moreover, they offer poor solutions for ISVs to deploy content to your training apps, usually resorting to inefficient Dropbox or Google Drive file sharing. 

Unfriendly Admin Interface

Traditional MDM web interfaces are cluttered and not user-friendly for VR admins. In some cases, they even require training and certifications before your admins can use them. Plus, setting up a VR device on a legacy MDM for the first time can be painfully slow and difficult. 

Limited In-VR Control

Traditional MDMs limit your control over your headset experience. Some of them allow you to use Kiosk Mode and that’s it. You can’t access a VR launcher to manage and create custom environments. 

Another thing is that none of the legacy MDMs offer in-VR Single Sign-On (SSO). So, they leave you in the dark about who’s using your headsets at any given time.

A dedicated VR and AR MDM like ArborXR lets you avoid these headaches.

manage xr devices and scale xr deployments

Here’s how:

  • Streamlined Device Management: Our platform lets you deploy, configure, and monitor your entire VR fleet remotely.
  • Enhanced Security: We prioritize security, which is why we’re SOC 2 Type 2 and ISO 27001 compliant. 
  • Manage Experiences: Use our Kiosk Mode to limit headsets to specific VR apps and ArborXR Home to create immersive learning environments and install training apps remotely (at scale).
  • Content Management: Easily manage your VR content library. Install new training modules, update existing content, and restrict access based on user roles or training needs.
  • Analytics and Reporting: With detailed analytics, you can gain valuable insights into your VR training. Track usage rates, identify improvement areas, and measure your VR program’s overall effectiveness.

2. Invest in High-Quality, Scalable VR Content

For your VR training to be effective, the content needs to be high-quality and scalable.

If you subject your trainees to low-quality, unpolished content, you’ll likely break their immersion and limit the efficacy of your training. Scalability is also crucial. You don’t want to be stuck manually installing training apps onto each device or dealing with annoying cables.

The best way to get scalable, high-quality content is through third-party VR content developers. They can create custom training content from scratch that you can sideload onto your VR devices at scale or provide pre-made content for your needs. 

With ArborXR, you have direct access to trusted VR developers. You can source training content and deploy it across your entire fleet without skipping a beat. Check out our enterprise XR developer directory to start exploring your options.

When you sign up for ArborXR, you gain instant access to nearly 70 demo apps created by top enterprise ISVs. These modules cover various training needs, including first aid, manufacturing, fire extinguisher training, and job interview preparation.

Test them out to get an overview of your options and shortlist ISVs that you might want to work with to develop your own content.

3. Combat Virtual Fatigue

No matter how lightweight or comfy your VR devices are, motion sickness and eye strain will still become an issue for trainees… unless you take steps to address these “virtual fatigue” symptoms head-on.

First, you need to understand the issues:

  • Motion Sickness: This happens when there’s a disconnect between what your trainees see and what their bodies feel. For example, VR content often simulates motion. However, since this isn’t usually accompanied by real-world motion, trainees start to feel nauseous.

The solution? Gradual acclimatization. Help trainees get used to VR gradually. Start with short sessions (10-15 minutes) and slowly increase the time they spend in the VR environment as they become more comfortable.

  • Eye Strain: Staring at a screen close-up for too long can strain your trainees’ eyes—especially if the content involves quick, jerky movements. This can lead to blurred vision, headaches, and dry eyes.

To avoid this, schedule “eye breaks”. These breaks should happen at least once every 30-60 minutes and should involve focusing on the most distant object available.

4. Choose a Safe Space for Training 

VR immersion locks your trainees out of their physical environment. That’s why you need a safe environment to minimize the risks of accidents. Feeling safe and comfortable also lets trainees relax and fully engage with the virtual scenarios. This helps you maximize learning outcomes.

Here are two ways to achieve this:

  • Clear the Area: Make sure there are absolutely no obstacles in the trainee’s physical space. This includes furniture, cords, or uneven surfaces. If trainees feel like there are objects nearby, it will distract them from the experience.
  • Buddy Up (Optional): Consider having a spotter present during VR training, especially for new users or physically demanding scenarios for added safety. The spotter can watch out for obstacles and reassure the trainee if they feel uncomfortable.

5. Run a Pilot Program Before Fully Implementing VR

Before fully implementing your VR program, it’s important to start with a pilot test with a few devices and trainees. 

A pilot program serves two main purposes.

For starters, it helps you iron out any technical issues or logistical challenges before you try rolling the program out on a larger scale. Once you do, these issues become exponentially more costly to address, so it’s always good to catch them early.

Additionally, it helps you demonstrate the efficacy of the program. This is useful for many reasons, but primarily as a way to get buy-in from any stakeholders who might be on the fence about a larger investment.

So, how do you set up a pilot program? Here’s a quick guide:

1. Define Your Pilot Group

Your pilot group should ideally consist of a small, representative group of trainees. The exact number isn’t important, but it should be large enough to gather meaningful data without putting too much strain on your resources.

Here are a few guidelines:

  • Aim for a group of 10-20 trainees (if possible)
  • Choose a diverse range of skill levels

2. Conduct Sessions and Gather Feedback

Next, invest in high-quality VR content for the pilot program, conduct sessions, and observe learner behavior. Take note of engagement, ease of use, and any difficulties.

You also ask trainees about their experience through:

  • Surveys: Distribute surveys after the training session to gather quantitative data on learner experience, satisfaction with VR hardware, and clarity of learning objectives.
  • Discussions: Conduct follow-up discussions with trainees to gain qualitative insights. Encourage open and honest feedback about the VR experience, content effectiveness, and suggestions for improvement.

3. Analyze and Refine

Finally, analyze the data and identify recurring themes. Specifically, look for strengths and weaknesses. You want to improve on the strengths and address the weaknesses by tweaking the program. 

This may involve adjusting content, improving hardware usability, or enhancing training delivery methods.

Maximize the Potential of Your VR Training

VR training offers many benefits… but they aren’t guaranteed. It all depends on how well you optimize your training programs, content, and rollout strategy.

This article covers five best practices for ensuring success. Most importantly, you need a VR device management tool to scale your program without making it unmanageable. That’s where ArborXR comes in. With ArborXR, you can manage and deploy as many devices as you need, install content at scale, and manage user experiences remotely. So, what are you waiting for? Get started with a 30-day free trial and see the benefits first-hand.

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