Buzzword or Hype?

Virtual Reality in Learning and Performance

London (UK), January 2017 - Virtual reality learning experts David Kelly and Helen Dudfield are to bring the Learning Technologies Conference up to date on the explosion in virtual reality in the last twelve months and how the technology can be used for learning and performance.

"Since Facebook ploughed $2bn into buying Oculus Rift in 2014, virtual reality has been the coming thing. The year 2017 will be when it arrives - at least as far as mainstream L&D is concerned. As prices fall and expectations rise, Learning Technologies has invited David Kelly of the eLearning Guild to report on the developments he's seeing and Dr Helen Dudfield, who has been in the field since the 1990s and is actively using VR for learning today," explains Donald H Taylor, Learning Technologies Conference Chair.

Virtual reality has exploded over the last year, so there's a rapidly rising interest in how this new technology can be used for learning and performance. With "VR" now one of the hottest buzzwords, how much is hype and how much is substance? This session will explore examples of virtual reality in practice in both the consumer and enterprise markets.

During the first part of the session, David Kelly, Executive Director, eLearning Guild, will explore what's really happening in virtual reality, examine what's working (and what's not), and explain how those lessons can be applied to learning and development. Among the topics he’ll address are

  • the critical components of a virtual reality experience
  • how early adopters are using VR for L&D
  • common mistakes to avoid
  • questions to ask to determine if VR is right for your organisation
  • how consumer-led VR is shaping VR's use in training.

In the second part of the session, Dr Helen Dudfield, Senior Fellow, QinetiQ, will explore virtual reality and augmented reality in use - the hype, the experience and the evidence.

Virtual and augmented reality environments have been portrayed as a potential training nirvana: VR allowing hands-on, risk-free experience and AR context-specific performance support. But what's the reality? Helen Dudfield has been exploring these technologies since the 1990s and in this session shares both her practical experience of testing different technologies and solid academic evidence about their effectiveness. She will show VR and AR in action and explore their value and their limitations. Topics will include

  • where VR and AR show the greatest impact on performance
  • whether  team-based VR practical or even possible
  • using AR for both to refresh knowledge and troubleshoot
  • where expectations and reality do not align
  • practical implications for using these technologies at work

David and Helen's session on virtual reality takes place on day one of the Learning Technologies Conference. The conference runs alongside the Learning Technologies Exhibition and forms the most important annual event for learning-and-development professionals in Europe. Learning Technologies Conference booking is open along with early-bird rates.