Soft skills training

Talespin Teams with PwC on VR Study Proving Efficacy of VR Soft Skills Training

Written on
June 25, 2020
Written by
Kyle Jackson
,
Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder

Today PwC released a new study, “Understanding the Effectiveness of VR Soft Skill Training in the Enterprise,” that highlights the effectiveness of VR-learning. We collaborated with PwC to help enable the VR portion of the study, providing guidance and support on building the VR training course focused on the topic of diversity and inclusion training for managers and leaders.

The study was a joint effort conducted by PwC’s Emerging Technology Group and U.S. Learning and Development Innovation team, with software support from Talespin, and hardware support from Oculus for Business from Facebook. The study showed exponential results in retention, time proficiency and emotional impact when employees train in VR.

VR Study Methodology & Results

PwC’s Emerging Technology Group and U.S. Learning and Development Innovation team collaborated with our team to launch a 10-month pilot to help understand if VR can be used to train enterprise employee soft skills. PwC selected employees from a group of new managers in 12 PwC US locations to take the same diversity and inclusion training course in one of three learning modalities: classroom learning, e-learning, or a virtual reality soft skills training course. Talespin helped contribute to the design and development of the VR training version. The PwC team surveyed and tested learners prior to, and immediately after completing the course.

PwC determined that virtual reality can be more effective at training soft skill concepts than classroom and e-learning training modalities across several metrics. The study found that:

  • VR learners required less time to learn: VR-trained employees completed training up to 4x faster than classroom learners, and 1.5x faster than e-learners.
  • VR learners demonstrated higher confidence in what they learned: VR-trained employees were 275% more confident to act on what they learned after training - a 40% improvement over classroom learners, and a 35% improvement over e-learners.
  • VR learners had a stronger emotional connection to training content: VR-trained employees felt an emotional connection to training content that was 3.75x greater than classroom learners, and 2.3x greater than e-learners.
  • VR learners were more focused: VR-trained employees were 4x more focused during training than their e-Learning peers, and 1.5x more focused than classroom learners.
  • VR learning is more cost-effective: Above 375 learners, VR training costs less than classroom learning. Above 1,950 learners, VR training costs less than e-learning.*

*ROI numbers provided are PwC specific results. Hourly cost per-employee is used as a key variable. Realized results may be different for each organization based on their hourly rates.

The VR Platforms Behind This Study

PwC chose our CoPilot and Runway software platforms to help enable the VR portion of the study. CoPilot uses artificial intelligence and virtual humans to simulate realistic conversations in virtual reality, helping learners develop and practice critical soft skills in a safe and controlled environment. Runway serves as a backend for performance scoring, skills analysis, and content delivery.

The VR training module for the study leveraged CoPilot to simulate diversity and inclusion training. While using the module, learners practiced realistic workplace conversations with virtual humans, during which they were measured on their ability to demonstrate inclusive communication and behavior during the simulated conversations.

Facebook’s Oculus for Business provided hardware support for PwC during closed beta of the enterprise software management platform on Oculus Quest. Collaboratively, PwC, Talespin and Oculus worked together to build an integrated training solution that would likely improve a user’s VR learning experience.

The classroom version of the training was identical to an existing PwC training where learners are led through a series of videos, reflection activities, and discussion topics. The e-learning training session allowed learners to take the training anytime from the convenience of their laptops and guided learners through the same activities, videos, and reflections found in the classroom version.

“With the exponential results in retention, time to proficiency and emotional impact, VR is giving us an opportunity to level up like we have never seen before. We were proud to work with PwC on this study and to contribute to research that proves VR can deliver improvements in learning, and help individuals and organizations reskill at the speed and scale needed to drive real transformation." - Talespin CEO & co-founder Kyle Jackson.

The study concluded that VR learning can deliver a cost-effective, efficient, and possibly more impactful experience to help train employees on soft skills. The complete study report and results are available at: pwc.com/us/vlearning

For more information on VR soft skills training, visit talespin.company/vr-soft-skills-training-study, or contact us.