Employability Training

George Brown College dives into VR interview training with Bodyswaps

A global college uses virtual reality to prepare its students for their first interview

Background

George Brown College, a renowned college of applied arts and technology in Toronto (Canada), offers a wide variety of programs to over 107,000 students globally, of which almost 30,000 study on campus.

Courses and services range from design, business, community services, early childhood education, construction and engineering technologies, health sciences, hospitality and culinary arts, preparatory studies to specialised programs and services for recent immigrants and international students.

The Challenge

Given the diverse range of study types (full-time, part-time, distance-learning) as well as students’ level of experience and language proficiency, it has been a challenge to offer workplace and career skills training that is easily accessible and equally beneficial for all students.

In 2021, the college’s TLX (Teaching and Learning Exchange), which consists of teaching and learning specialists who offer faculty support including coaching and exploring ways of integrating technology into the classroom, approached Bodyswaps in search of a solution. It would not only have to be a highly engaging solution that is suitable for all students but it would also have to be easily scalable and deliver measurable results.

For Michael Avis, a tech-savvy Professor and Faculty Facilitator at the TLX, it was clear that any new technology would also have to be easy to adopt in order to be useful for his colleagues and students:

One of the challenges as a professor is how do you really get the time to practise these soft skills? How do you simulate interviews, conflicts as a customer service representative or any kind of skill-based activity? That’s a real challenge for educators because it takes a lot of time and money. With virtual reality we are able to simulate some of those scenarios at scale.

The Solution

Bodyswaps uses virtual reality and AI to allow students to practise their interview techniques in a safe environment. Its unique learning format gives students the tools and confidence to apply newly acquired skills. As the name suggests, students can ‘swap bodies’ in VR and watch themselves back to see how they come across in situations such as job interviews.

George Brown College dives into VR interview training with Bodyswaps

The Results

In 2021, George Brown College took part in a partnership programme with Bodyswaps. After the first group of students had completed the Job Interview Simulator sessions in VR, confidence levels more than doubled.

The confidence gained by the users was significant. We have a very large international student population and being able to practise in a risk-free environment is key.
Michael Avis, Professor and Faculty Facilitator, George Brown College

It was a great experience. I learnt about my strengths, weaknesses and areas I need to work on in a safe and judgment-free environment.
Student, George Brown College

Next Steps

The college, which has been ranked as one of the country’s top three research colleges, aims to gradually roll out the solution to more and more students. It also successfully organised its first virtual reality interviews skills focussed event, Interview Ignite week, in October 2021 and has partnered with Bodyswaps to co-produce a series of new VR simulations.

George Brown College dives into VR interview training with Bodyswaps
Interview Ignite week at George Brown College
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