5 ways VR improves real-world skills training

Published on November 3rd, 2018 by Debi Christensen

Real-world skills training is something many people lament about. According to some, high schools and colleges aren’t teaching the life skills necessary for future success.

Internet articles tell us that kids and adults alike need to prepare for the real world by learning useful skills. They’ll need these skills for work and leisure. However, the articles don’t even agree on the number of skills needed for successful living, much less what they are.

Let them theorize. Virtual reality simulations are addressing the need for real-world skills training at all levels. In fact, VR improves real-world skills training.

Industries of all types use virtual reality training methods. VR is a way to provide the real-world skills training necessary for job success, social interaction, and even rehabilitation.

These five leaders are making a difference in how they provide real-world skills. Their gamification and virtual reality training paves the ways for others.

1. Life skills

Most people would agree that money-management and computer skills are critical for success in today’s world. That’s even more true for teens convicted of crimes and incarcerated for decades.


The inmates in the Colorado Fremont Correctional Facility are learning more than the basic life skills they’ll need for living in the free. They get a glimpse of what the world beyond their walls has become. They’re using virtual reality headsets to explore a world they’ve never experienced.

Inmates learn how to self-check at a grocery store, do their laundry, and work with technology. They even learn to de-escalate potentially volatile interactions with other people. Learning these life skills may help inmates live outside prison and reduce recidivism.

VR simulations are making it happen.

2. Social skills

Classrooms, too, have taken an interest in using virtual reality to teach social skills. Nearly half of school administrators see the potential for using virtual reality to deliver real-world skills training. It will benefit students and teachers.

Virtual reality training allows participants to practice scenarios that require interaction with others. The simulations teach social and emotional skills necessary for getting along with others. These skills improve communication among culturally diverse backgrounds.

Simulated VR experiences offer more opportunities to practice social competencies.

3. Real-world skills training for leadership and empathy

Leaders also  benefit from real-world skills training experiences that heighten their capacity to interact with empathy.


As an example, Simulearn is changing the landscape when it comes to teaching empathic skills used in interpersonal dilemma resolution.

The SimuLearn program is based on scenarios that require virtual role play. Participants engage in self-paced, blended or online simulations that teach the give-and-take bargaining skills used in conversations while working together.

4. Motor skills

The best way to learn is by doing. That’s especially true for patients wanting to regain their motor skills after voluntary physical movement loss.

Sensory perception affects skill acquisition. Patients need to see and feel what they are doing. For that reason, VR training is the obvious solution when teaching rehabilitation training to patients suffering  from loss of movement in their limbs.

Furthermore, by pairing motor skills training with advanced technology VR headsets like the Oculus Quest, you may be able to advance your real-world skills further since the stand-alone headset has no wires or cables. Oculus Quest VR offers nearly unlimited movement, which is a boon for motor skills training.

  5. Spatial navigation skills

Navigating unfamiliar territory can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re learning a new job while learning your way around.

real-world-skills-training-industrial facility

Cornell University uses gamification to teach the spatial navigation skills to people learning industrial facility layouts. Called Indy, the game is a training scenario that engages participants in a treasure hunt inside a virtual industrial building.

Successful learners transfer the skills used in VR training to real environments, and they show an increased ability to navigate through facilities.

The possibilities for real-world skills training with virtual reality are endless, and so are the industries taking advantage of VR training.

How is your business teaching your people the real-world skill they need for success?