June 11, 2021By Lance Baily

Bodyswaps Provides VR Simulation for Soft Skills Training

Bodyswaps is a complete soft skills learning solution that empowers learners to practice difficult conversations through empathy and self-reflection. Combining behavioural science, data and immersive technologies, Bodyswaps boosts the effectiveness of training programs with scalable contextual practice. This technology presents an engaging, safe, and effective way to train soft skills and bridge the ever-elusive gap between learning and behavioural change.

The company’s AI-powered behavioural analytics engine offers personalized assessments and feedback into each Learning Management System (LMS) for real-time soft skills competency tracking. Then, Bodyswaps captures and interprets an unprecedented amount of behavioural data to provide hyper-personalised feedback to the learner. This includes semantic data, speech speed & elocution, body language and decision-making data.

The comprehensive real-time overview of performance includes a breakdown of usage data, learner’s feedback on understanding, self-awareness and confidence as well as a breakdown of behavioural data. Leveraging virtual reality and AI to allow for self-reflective contextual practice, Bodyswaps’ unique learning format gives learners the tools and confidence to apply what they’ve learned to their work. Bodyswaps also offers a library of ready-to-go workplace simulations for learners to use to practise their soft skills in safe and realistic environments.

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This library is broken down into three categories: workplace communication, inclusive leadership, and job interview simulator. The Workplace Communication Essentials series of three simulations, targeted at all team members from juniors to managers, is designed to build the foundations of a high-performing team environment. Learners will get to practice and build the necessary confidence to adopt best practices in active listening, horizontal communication and challenging non-inclusive behaviours.

The Inclusive Leadership series of 3 simulations is designed for managers looking to adopt an inclusive leadership style by learning to listen and give feedback as well as understanding and resolving conflict. Teams are increasingly diverse, remote, cross-disciplinary and demand empowerment and the utmost respect for individual differences. To sustain high-performance and foster well-being, leadership culture needs to change.

Then, Bodyswaps’ Job Interview Simulator is a first-of-its-kind solution empowering students to learn interview techniques, perfect their pitch and practise dozens of interview questions. Across four engaging virtual reality modules and over 75 questions, students build their job interview skills autonomously, through repeated practice, personalised feedback and in total psychological safety.

All Bodyswaps simulations can be embedded as part of facilitated training activities or used as a resource for autonomous practice. The simulations are available for VR, PC and mobile in both English and French.

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Case Studies

Project (VR)² = Vocational Rehabilitation x Virtual Reality Employability Training: In this Bodyswaps case study, the challenge was to work with several partners to leverage Bodyswaps in order to give those with a disability a safe and engaging space to practise crucial soft skills. Together with VIABILITY, Link to VR, Cleanbox and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) , the company launched Project (VR)². VIABILITY, a US-based human services provider, leverages community and employer partnerships to create opportunities for underserved and chronically marginalised people.

This first-of-its-kind project aimed to measure engagement with immersive learning modalities, assess whether the approach did indeed allow practice and improvement and, finally, optimise how to deploy such solutions in a particularly difficult context (COVID-19). Bodyswaps made the Workplace Communications Essentials scenarios available, which allowed learners to experience them in either VR or via a tablet version.

“Immersive VR learning provides access for individuals who are otherwise overlooked in the employment world. Access to training and work experiences virtually builds confidence and readiness that will better equip participants to hold jobs that provide income along with a sense of purpose to individuals, a willing workforce for employers, and greater societal equity,” said Kristin Rotas, VIABILITY director.

FE Innovation Partners Employability Training: Bodyswaps partnered with six further education colleges and academies to pilot a revolution in the way learners develop their soft skills. Supported by a grant received from Ufi VocTech Trust, the company developed a bespoke immersive learning module, Career Mindset Development, tailored to FE learners as well as a Performance Feedback app.

The app allows teachers and advisors to provide valuable feedback throughout learners’ development. This novel approach, using immersive technologies to offer autonomous practice and automated behavioural feedback, is designed to boost every learner’s chances of succeeding in the early stages of their career.

Humanitarian Leadership Academy Safeguarding Training: Bodyswaps worked with the Humanitarian Leadership Academy to develop an immersive learning tool to empower NGOs around the world to transform safeguarding-related behavior among aid workers and volunteers at scale. The company worked with subject matter experts to identify the behavioral traits preventing reporting of safeguarding incidents and devised an experience to practice overcoming those in a safe environment and building self-confidence.

In Safeguarding VR, the learner gets an opportunity to use their own voice and body language and practice having a conversation with a virtual human named Susan; a survivor of a safeguarding incident. Then, AI-powered Virtual Trainer analytics allows the learner to get personalised recommendations on how to improve and an opportunity to restart the conversation. This new approach to learning aims to provide an impactful and cost-efficient answer to the challenge of delivering behavioral change at scale.

Corporate DNA Performance Management Training: Bodyswaps partnered with Corporate DNA Consulting, a global leadership firm with an expertise in performance psychology, to explore how VR could be used to improve soft skills training and deploy experiential leadership simulations at scale. In this Bodyswaps simulation, the learners have a performance review meeting with David, an employee with a less-than-perfect record.

The learners will get to listen and respond to David, using their own words, before stepping in his shoes to listen back to your performance from his perspective. Getting a new picture of how the learner is reacting and behaving during that situation, they will be able to build self-awareness and improve their behaviour.

SAGE Publishing Mental Health Nurse Training: Sage Publishing, a global leader in educational and academic publishing, approached Bodyswaps with a view of exploring the potential of immersive technologies for education. Working with Subject Matter Experts and Higher Education experts, SAGE identified a challenge in psychiatric nursing education: learners needed a new way of practicing their soft skills and building their self-confidence before transitioning from the classroom to the hospital.

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