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UC Berkeley Uses VR to Teach Interpersonal Skills

business handshake with digital globe overlay

At the University of California, Berkeley, learners can hone their leadership and interpersonal skills through a virtual reality environment designed to help people navigate a global and multicultural workplace. The institution's Robertson Center for Intercultural Leadership (CIL) is using customized VR simulations created by Mursion, a company that provides immersive VR training in career skills.

The Mursion platform "blends artificial intelligence with live human interaction to deliver training that prepares learners for challenging interpersonal moments on the job," according to a news announcement. The simulations engage students' emotional, cognitive and behavioral skills with a focus on understanding cultural differences, leading inclusively and building trust among diverse teams.

"We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to build effective leadership skills using emerging learning technology," said Jason Patent, director of CIL at UC Berkeley, in a statement. "VR simulation is the ideal way to practice high-stakes interpersonal skills because of the balance it offers between stress and safety. Learners experience authentic practice with the kinds of conversations they encounter routinely in the workplace. The flexible and seamless nature of Mursion's technology makes it ideal for deploying across dispersed learners in a global context, meeting learners where they are with targeted, ongoing practice."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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