How we use VR for rapid reskilling

Virtual Reality is a core component of the VITAL reskilling solution, enabling participants to learn more rapidly by using our natural ability to learn-by-doing - exploring, failing and self-correcting. 

Our XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling solution will provide participants with the skills and know-how to work safely and efficiently within a sterile medical environment, requiring the careful use of protective equipment and adhering to important procedures and processes.

This type of training is particularly well suited to Virtual Reality where participants can encounter an environment that would otherwise be problematic to provide in the real-world - potentially compromising a sterile environment during the learning process. This is further compounded by the on-going pandemic preventing gatherings and our interactions.

The technology

VR is delivered through a lightweight and powerful VR headset that immerses the participants in the virtual environment, capturing head and eye movements and hand gestures through controllers that, in turn, accentuate virtual hands. 

VR has experienced exponential innovation, rapidly moving from a special interest technology tethered to powerful computers to becoming a mainstream and mature platform, readily accessible to everyone. By borrowing and leveraging advancements in mobile phones, VR headsets have been able to quickly traverse a power and cost curve, and, most significantly, become standalone - removing the need for a powerful separate computer to deliver the experience.

The experience

The participants that take part in the upskilling programme will use VR training as a key component of their overall training experience. Our intention is to move as much of the training experience to VR as possible to take advantage of both the time savings and more effective training that will give participants greater confidence to apply their new skills in the workplace.

The on-going pandemic is a significant consideration in the undertaking of the project. VR is ideally suited to deliver distance training and by leveraging VR technology, we will be able to deliver highly effective training safely and effectively.

In practical terms, participants will be equipped with a VR headset and, by design, be given the freedom to explore and find their way with minimal guidance. By carefully designing the VR training experience through a pedagogical approach, participants are encouraged to experiment and practice - something that VR can uniquely offer that can not be readily done in a real-world training environment. 

The VR training scenario will immerse the participants in a hospital environment where they will complete a series of tasks - moving from putting on PPE to safely operating medical equipment, closely aligned with important procedures and processes that ensure the integrity of the sterile environment.

Participants are offered two VR training modes - practice and assessment. 

Practising is an integral part of the VR training experience and provides some additional support to the participants through visual guidance. Participants are encouraged to repeatedly practice - free from the constraints of a real-world training environment and time limits and practical access considerations.

Assessment is used to validate the participant's newly developed skills and is undertaken with no guides or aids. The results are gathered and can then be used to further support the participants on their reskilling journey.

The result

VR training offers a unique opportunity to develop insights into how well a participant is able to apply newly developed skills and help shape a better learning programme designed to specific needs. 

The Colaberry platform will leverage data and machine learning to offer training built around the participants individual needs. Providing on-going support during the rapid reskilling process will enable the participant to address any skill gaps and give them the confidence to apply their new skills in the workplace.

In contrast to traditional training, VR offers the capability for unlimited training in an always-consistent environment. By supporting and understanding the needs of participants, they can repeat and redevelop skills within VR.