Why Online Training Courses Benefit from VR

July 28, 2017 - DOM BARNARD

Online courses have become a popular way to learn just about anything. Sites such as Udemy, Udacity, Pluralsight and Coursera are revolutionising education and allowing people anywhere in the world to access great educators.

What is the most effective way to learn?

Hundreds of years ago, most skills were learnt through experience. You would do an apprenticeship or similar training to learn the skills by performing that task many times over and learning on the job. Recently, with the advancements of the internet and online training courses, more people than ever are learning online by watching online tutorial videos and reading how-to-guides.

However, we still learn and retain the most information when we get to practice what we learn. Studies have shown that, on average, learning through experience increases retention by between 75-90%.

Technical courses

There are plenty of amazing resources for learning technical skills online. What’s great with many of them is that you can practice what you’ve learnt through exercises and projects as a more practical way of learning. Sites like Codecademy give you a brief description of a topic and let you reinforce your learning by writing code related to that topic. Thus, you’re effectively learning on the job and more likely to retain the information.

Codecademy let you learn through practice

Codecademy let you learn through practice.

Business courses

Business skills, such as sales, negotiating, and communication training, are much harder to teach through practice. You might have to attend an expensive in-person workshop to practice these skills or learn while you’re at work - and no doubt make mistakes along the way, which can be costly. With traditional business online training courses, they typically include traditional tutorial videos and reading guides. However, without practicing what you’ve learnt, you’ll have forgotten over 95% of this material after 30 days.

Why use virtual reality?

The key benefit of virtual reality is that it lets you learn through experience in realistic virtual environments. You can practice negotiating, selling a product or presenting, all in the safety of the virtual world.

In addition, with the recent improvements on Google, Amazon and IBM Watson Speech-to-Text analysis, the scope for voice analysis and instant feedback means that you can measure your own performance and practice until you feel confident in the real world.

Improve your learning with virtual reality and online tutorials

What online training courses can VR improve?

Plenty of business and life skills can be enhanced by virtual reality, from public speaking to dentistry:

How VirtualSpeech is using VR for training

We believe VR is the most effective, safe, and affordable way to combine experiential learning with traditional online learning. They form the perfect partnership because many people don’t want to be in the virtual world for long periods of time, and it can be difficult to read text within a VR headset.

That’s why we propose a combination of online tutorials and virtual reality at an approximate 70:30 ratio. Online tutorials and guides are used to teach techniques and theory, while VR is used to practice and reinforce what has been learnt in the online training course.

Example: Public Speaking course

Our public speaking course was designed using years of learning from our VR application. We've covered all the essential areas of public speaking with online tutorial videos and virtual reality.

For example, you’ll learn how to cope with common distractions, such as mobile phones ringing, bright stage lighting, and audio feedback through our training videos. Then you’ll put on a VR headset and practice what you’ve been taught while giving a speech in a virtual conference room.

The content is split between traditional videos, quizzes etc, and VR practice:

Traditional Learning

  • Tutorial videos
  • Text based guides
  • Quizzes
  • Handouts

VR practice

We focussed on four areas of public speaking we believe can be improved through practicing in VR.

  • Eye contact training and connecting with the audience
  • Sound and visual distractions training
  • Impromptu speeches and thinking on the spot
  • Speech insight analysis
Online Training Courses with VR


We believe virtual reality will play an important part in the future of online training courses, particularly in the corporate training sector. It’s a much more engaging and exciting way to learn topics from sales, to networking, to culture training, and more.