Virtual Speech – VR Course

VR Application Profile
Name of VR Application Virtual Speech – VR Course
Category Training
Date of processing:                                                              21/10/2019
Technical Framework & Key Data Software-Provider: Google Commerce Ltd

Software-Developer: VirtualSpeech Ltd.

Version of app:2.24

 

Compatible VR hardware systems:

☒  Google Cardboard          ☐  Oculus Rift

☒  Google Daydream View  ☐  Oculus Quest

☐  Lenovo Mirage Solo         ☒  Samsung Gear VR

☐  Lenovo Explorer             ☐  Samsung Odyssey

☐  HTC Vive Pro                  ☐  PlayStation VR

☐  HTC Vive                        ☐  Dell Visor

☐  Acer AH 101

☒  Oculus Go

 

Compatible operating systems

☒  iOS            Version: 9.0 or later

☒  Android    Version: 5.0 and up

 

Languages available

☒  English                      ☐  Italian

☐  Spanish

☐  German

Learning Content Soft Skills Training (Training of presentation skills, public speaking, networking, communication, etc.)
Learning Outcomes As stated beneath in the section “Activities provided” the app provides a variety of scenarios to practice one’s soft skills and therefore various learning outcomes can be achieved. The learning outcomes stated below can be achieved with the free version of the app:

 

Knowledge
The adult learners will be able to:

·       …describe how different challenging scenarios like a job interview situation, presentation scenario in a conference or meeting room or a training delivery situation in class could look like.

·       …recall at least 10 different questions which might be asked during a job interview for at least six different job interview situations.

 

Skills
The adult learners will be able to:

·       …speak in front of people in challenging situations like in meetings, at conferences, in front of trainees in class or a jury within the frame of a job interview situation.

·       …hold eye contact while speaking to people in the situations mentioned above.

·       …better estimate the time needed for tasks like holding a presentation or answering an interview question, etc.

·       …present themselves and answer at least ten different job interview questions in front of a jury within the frame of a job interview situation.

 

Competences
The adult learners will be able to:

·       …prepare themselves successfully for various challenging situations in which presentation and soft skills are needed e.g. job interview situations, public speaking, etc.

·       …express and present themselves or/and prepared content adequately and successfully within the frame of these mentioned situations.

 

Activities provided The App “VirtualSpeech” provides various scenarios where users can practice their soft skills. Training rooms include public speaking, sales pitching, networking, business storytelling, media training and more. In this context the “Interview Preparation”-, “Conference Room”-, “Meeting Room”- and “Training Delivery”-Scenario can be used for free.

The user can enter and exit rooms by pointing the hand controller towards them and activating the trigger button or aiming the VR headset at them. The rooms provide realistic environments with realistic avatars where users can practice their own public speeches, presentations, train interview situations, etc. Depending on the room users might be able to use provided transcripts of famous speeches for practice or be confronted with prepared questions (e.g. in the interview preparation scenario).

 

On the VirtualSpeech website (www.virtualspeech.com) users can also purchase a variety of VR courses which combine traditional online classes with practice in VR. When purchasing one of the courses further features are available such as speech analyses and real time feedback, the upload of one’s own slides, eye contact rating, the opportunity to record and save speeches, sound and visual distractions that make the environment even more realistic, etc.

Added value
for low-skilled/-qualified adults
The App “VirtualSpeech” might be also beneficial in terms of low-skilled and low-qualified adult learners, especially for those having difficulties to express themselves as it’s often the case in terms of migrants and refugees. Embedded in a broader training setting the app might help the learner to become more confident in speaking while allowing learners to repeat training situations as often as needed. Especially the app environment "Interview preparation" might be a useful scenario for low-skilled/-qualified adults, particularly for those who have been long-term unemployed.
SWOT analysis  

·       User-friendliness                  1 ☐    2 ☐   3 ☐    4■
·       Pedagogic orientation
and standards                      1 ☐    2 ■     3 ☐    4☐
·       Applicability level                1 ☐    2 ☐   3 ☐    4■
·       Gamification level               1 ■     2 ☐   3 ☐    4☐

 

*1…very poor/low; 2…poor/low; 3…OK/medium; 4…good/high; 5…very good/high

 

 

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
·       …offers a variety of scenarios and speaking situations

·       …scenarios and avatars are quite realistic so that adult learners are more likely to immerse in the training situation and learning outcomes can be more easily transferred to real life

·       …offers an app-guide so that users understand the handling of the app

·       …app description promises a variety of features which in the end are mostly not for free (costs are between 50$-450$)

·       …app doesn’t track hand gestures or other body movements than head movements

·       …app is only available in English, so are instructions and questions e.g. in the “Interview Preparation” environment

OPPORTUNITIES THREATS
·       …can work as an efficient and safe form of exposure therapy when fearing public speaking (or any other kind of speaking)

·       …online courses combined with practice in VR might provide a comprehensive soft skill training

·       …training situation can be repeated as often as required without any real world consequences

·       …free version of app for itself might have less learning/training effect since users to not get any feedback or instructions by the app to improve their speaking

·       …courses might be too expensive if adult learners only have a limited budget

·       …in order to being able to provide each learner with adequate feedback, using free version of app might require small or single training settings

Ideal application/utilization  

Context of ideal application

 Ideal to enhance any soft skills training beginning from presentation training over public speaking to job interview training and beyond.

 

 

Instructions for preparation

 -          Choose the virtual environment which you want the learners to use for their soft skills training according to the course’s learning objective and make yourself familiar with the simulation.

-          Embed the application of the app in your course context. Since the free version of the app does not provide any instructions make sure to prepare all necessary information and instructions the adult learners need for their soft skills training. You might also prepare some training material you will provide for the learners.

-          Make sure the audio of the smartphones used for the VR simulation is switched on since the app provides sound effects to make the simulation even more realistic.

-          Depending on the environment provide maybe chairs (ideally revolving chairs) for the learners. E.g. for the “Interview Preparation” environment a seated position might be the most realistic way for training.

 

Instructions for mentoring

 -          The App is quite intuitive and simple in structure. Provide your learners just with a short introduction to the app and give them a few minutes to become familiar with it.

-          Guide your trainees through the training process! Provide them with all necessary information in advance, give them time to practice in the VR environment what they have learned theoretically and provide them with feedback so that they can improve their performance.

-          After the application of the app it might be useful to discuss the experiences made by the learners.

 

Do’s and don’ts

 -          Do see and use the free version of the app as a training and practice environment, rather than a comprehensive soft skills training course that can replace your own lectureship.

-          In order to being able to analyse the trainees’ speeches and presentations when using the free version of the app, the Voice Memo feature of the smartphones could be useful.

-          Use small group or single training settings in order to provide trainees with adequate live feedback and coaching when using the free version of the app.