- According to an article in Federal News Radio, two branches of the U.S. military (Navy and Air Force) are taking steps to weed out the excessive use of computer-based training, but are adopting more virtual reality training. Under the new initiative, the Navy has eliminated "administrative distractions" from its core training programs for sailors.
- Now it is also eliminating required department-wide online training for civilians in its workforce. The Navy still requires training in cybersecurity but other training topics — such as sexual assault, suicide prevention, records management, and security measures — are shifting to more personalized, group trainings. Additionally, the Navy is increasing the use of virtual reality based training.
- The Air Force audited its online training programs to reduce 60 hours of learning content to 30 hours. There is also an effort to eliminate some of the tasks that airmen perform now and assign them to some 1,000 new federal employees by 2018.
When the rest of the world is relying more on online learning, the military is taking the opposite move by eliminating redundant training — starting with computer and distance training.
At the same time, the military is embracing VR-based training as a better way to attract candidates and prepare soldiers to handle the rigors and responsibilities of service. This could be a sign that change is coming to the civilian learning market soon. We've already seen this shift to VR in corporate learning, so it's not at all surprising.
The announcement serves as a reminder for employers to carefully look at their own internal learning processes to ensure they are streamlined. As we've seen before, bad training can cost a company quite a bit and hurt employee engagement.