• Chris Brits - CEO, EBnet

Trustee Training in Virtual Reality

Many companies are realizing the potential of using virtual reality (VR) in training employees as one of the most popular and effective uses in business.

Being able to fully engage an employee in a virtual world designed to present them with potential scenarios, job challenges, and unfamiliar technology before encountering them in the real world can save businesses a lot of time and money.

Many experts contend that the memory retention of subjects after a VR experience tends to be higher than after viewing video- or text-based learning materials. In their article in Education Psychology Review, authors James Clark and Allan Paivio explain how memory is anchored and made stronger when there is increased multi-sensory and emotional input. The idea is simple: as presence - and emotional responsiveness - increases, memory retention also improves. Research from S.A. Christianson concurs that the stronger an emotional reaction to a stimulus, the stronger the memory will be.

Indeed, when subjects feel presence in a VR experience, they feel like something is actually happening to them in real life, rather than simply observing. In one recent study, participants were presented with either a 360-degree VR video or a 2D video of a motorcycle ride. This was followed 48 hours later by a memory test. The results showed that the VR group performed twice as well as the video group in the memory recollection test. The researchers explained the performance differential by hypothesizing that immersive VR experiences become part of an extensive autobiographical associative network, whereas conventional video experiences remain as memories of isolated episodic events.

These findings are supported by a common observation from people who have watched a cinematic 360-degree video experience with a headset. When reflecting retrospectively on the experience, people typically report that it felt more like a memory of something that actually happened to them (autobiographical associative network) than a memory of a video of something that happened to someone else (isolated episodic event). Recollection of an autobiographical memory seems to be much stronger than the memory of an isolated episodic event.

The opportunities this presents lends itself well to the retirement fund industry where abstract concepts like saving and investments are tricky to convey and to be fully understood by fund members, Trustees and Principal Officers.

The technology is here and have been here for a while – our children have been playing games in it for several years now!

With a little creative twist and a life-simulating story-line, one could easily build any number of scenarios and training content, from employee workplace induction programs to trustee training courses to member fund benefit education content, not to mention any number of “How-to” scenarios.

The upcoming EBnet Technology Conference on 2 September 2019 (being held at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton) will be showcasing exactly this.

We have built an entire employee onboarding and induction programme in Virtual Reality that takes the new employee through an immersive information portal that does a step-by-step training and comprehension testing via Q & A functionality embedded and recorded per individual inside the program.

Results can at the end be printed out and signed off by the member to act as implementation parameters for member’s pension fund and medical aid choices.

Come and experience the new frontiers in virtual reality training and how to get this for your own company, retirement fund, members and trustees.

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