Universities want to teach soft skills with virtual reality – study

Universities want to teach soft skills with virtual reality – study

Universities are looking into how students can use virtual reality for learning. A start-up for soft-skill training is to help.

A large-scale study is to find out how virtual reality can be used at universities to develop soft skills. More than twenty universities in Europe and North America are taking part in the VR experiment.

Study: more than 10,000 students learn in VR

The six-month program will be conducted at several universities in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Spain. More than 10,000 students are expected to try VR experiences that support the learning of various soft skills.

Aktives Zuhören in einer VR-Simulation.

VR training for students is designed to teach soft skills such as active listening. | Image: Bodyswaps

These include, for example, how to behave in job interviews, active listening or giving constructive feedback. Behavioral data will be collected during VR training sessions to measure learning performance and overall interest in immersive learning. The results will be published in a publicly available report in January 2023.

Virtual reality to prepare students for their careers

“Our aim is to prepare students to be successful in their careers,” said Emma Clarke, Communications & Engagement Manager, University of Liverpool.

Clarke said students have adapted to the online world in recent years and have developed an unprecedented demand for soft skills development. VR training could meet that demand and boost young people’s confidence, she said.

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“We’re excited to take part in the programme and be pioneers in paving the future of careers focused immersive education.”

Bodyswaps: Soft skills startup brings VR content to universities

All VR content is provided by British startup Bodyswaps, which specializes in soft-skills training in virtual reality. Two years ago, Bodyswaps was accepted into HTC’s Vive X funding program and unveiled its VR app Job Interview Simulator in 2021.

The immersive job interview training is designed to help young adults enter the workforce. Users can conduct job interviews in a VR environment, learn about different interview techniques and questions, or work on their self-presentation.

Sources: Government Technology