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Educational VR with Joy Business Academy’s James Coddington

May 25, 2020

Lifelong Learning.

James Coddington is the CEO and Founder of Joy Business Academy.

Joy Business Academy delivers traditional education through immersive VR games. These games produce 3 times the outcome as traditional learning outcomes for a wide audience in a fraction of the time. Joy Business Academy created and developed the Skills for Industry learning experiences for job seekers and employers to fill skill shortage gaps for industry now and into the future. Scenarios in the game are designed to provide engaging, industry specific learning experiences to teach and validate the skills for the future workforce. In-game metrics and voice chat provide employers with valuable insights to assess job seeker's skills that are required to succeed, such as teamwork, critical thinking and enthusiasm.

Learn more about how Joy Business Academy can transform your business' training sessions via immersive VR by listening to this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on   Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.

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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, we're all reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.

And with us right now, we've got James Coddington. James, you are the founder and CEO of Joy Business Academy on the web of JoyBusinessAcademy.com. Thank you so much for joining us. Thanks, Josh. Thanks for having me. So I guess why don't we start with talking about what joy Business Academy is?

Yeah, well, that's a great place to start. So we're all about delivering a mess of learning. learning that delivers very high learning outcomes and a fraction of the time it traditionally takes people to to learn skills or learn qualifications. We've been doing this for just over six years. And we started off by delivering traditional education through games, we created really immersive games, which connected to an audience, which was largely disconnected with traditional education. And were able to show their through playing games intertwined with educational outcomes, we could deliver in 95 plus percent learning outcome for people who are getting less than 10%. And in traditional education, and then we've kind of grown up from creating mobile games into creating immersive VR experiences connected to qualifications. So you're able to do a qualification which would take you upwards of two to four weeks traditionally, and we're able to do it in in just over an hour in VR, so the the opportunities, it's opening up for individuals, which have traditionally haven't been able to get into the workforce because either they've got literacy, or perhaps English is not the first language and traditional education is failing them. So we're able to deliver this learning experience which creates really high learning outcomes for a very wide audience in a fraction of the time. So industry level government loves it, and ultimately people who are looking for a job love it.

So what's going on that this is explained it to explain a little bit of the science here? Why is this so much more effective?

Well, it's no secret that the more immersive you can create a learning experience, the higher the learning outcome. And that's, that's as simple as if you uh, if you're in a classroom and perhaps you don't have high literacy levels, or perhaps said you don't enjoy learning through what we call talk and talk, you're going to have very low learning outcomes, you'll switch off, you won't be engaged, you won't be excited about what you're learning. Now, if you enjoy what you're learning, and you, you're not only learn the theory, but also apply that theory. In that time, which is the bar, you're able to create these really high learning outcomes. And it's not just as a normal learning experience, like if someone was delivering your PowerPoint presentation, you're able to actually experience that learning, which also creates your physiological response to that learning. So if you're creating something which is quite dangerous in the workplace, perhaps a health and safety scenario or something, and you really want to mimic the response of what would happen if you were in danger. You do that in a VR experience or showing that the heart rate mimics exactly what happens in real life, and also muscle memory. So if you're creating the muscle memory physiological response of the learning, you're getting these really high learning outcomes because it's as real as it possibly can be without actually being real.

Yeah. And and exploding a bunch of toxic chemicals into the air or something like that. And it's not always

a well oiled machine. Right. Right. Right. I can't do it more than once.

Now. Now there's so now, I mean, obviously, what we're talking about is is learning. I mean, yes, I mean, there's likely some some youth based applications, but it looks like you're doing a lot of more adult education or professional training and development.

Yeah, absolutely. And it doesn't matter what country you're in. disruption is hitting every industry. It doesn't matter what industry you you've been in practice. You've been in it for 2030 years, and you're finding that your industry, maybe manufacturing maybe some more traditional type of work. Work is being disrupted through technology. Now those individuals often have been in their jobs for 2030 plus years, they're having to learn new skills, and they're having to translate those skills into new industries. And they, they just don't have time to go into study for a year or two or three years to learn those skills to transfer into new industry. So all industries have to learn to train their staff faster, more effectively, and ultimately, give them learning outcomes which are in the very high 90 percentile to be successful. If they don't, if they keep doing things the same way which I'm pretty sure Albert Einstein coined insanity. Doing the same thing the same way expecting a different result. That is insanity. So when they are looking to to mobilize large workforces into an industry which is being disrupted, we have to learn to train faster. We have to Learn to train more effectively. And ultimately, we have to learn to train, robustly and so that we're able to scale what we do. And it is not as expensive as what we'd call traditional education. And as the mobilization of global workforces changes with English is not always the first language. literacy is not always high. We have to learn a new way of translating that information so that it connects to all audiences, not just the literate and the English speaking ones.

Yeah. And so James, so who have you been able to serve in terms of your clients?

So we've started in New Zealand and we're working on 14 different industries, largely. So we started with a pilot without New Zealand government to help an assist. I guess you'd call it one of our biggest challenges in our part of the world is construction. There's a construction boom going on in New Zealand where Unable to find qualified workers to work in the industry. And we're able to, we wanted to be able to train the staff faster and more effectively. And a lot of our construction workers are coming from offshore and immigrating to New Zealand. And so English was not the first language. So we need to come up with a new way of training, and educating those individuals much, much faster, and in a way that would resonate with them to keep them safe on the workplace. And we did that very successfully over a period of six months. And we proved the model. And over that time, we've been able to take the model that we've proven by increasing learning outcomes from less than 20% to 98%. Taking the training from seven days down to 35 minutes, and then ultimately saving our government $6 million in the proceeds, so giving them an opportunity investment By by saving a lot of time and energy for the industry, well, that's got to make them happy. Yeah, it's hard to keep the government happy. But yes, they are very happy.

So you launched this just over just over four years ago, four and a half years ago. And so how did you get into this space? And how did you know that this was going to be the industry to really get into?

Yeah, sure. We actually started in a traditional education sense. So when I call analog, we were trying to solve a problem of youth unemployment. Youth unemployment isn't just a problem in New Zealand, it's a global problem. It is increasing as unemployment is reducing. Unfortunately, youth unemployment is increasing. Yeah. And we want to understand why so we understood that there's a big skills gap. And the big skills gap that we were we were seeing was that it was unknown. was the employability skills that were lacking and what we call soft skills, their ability to work as a team. Communication skills, resilience, problem solving, critical thinking, all of the things that unfortunately, you don't learn in a school or a university, but are very highly valued by by the employers. So we started to create a learning around some of those critical skills. And we found that it was a fairly average result. And what I mean by that was, unfortunately, it only it was only picked up by the educated, but it left a big hole for the uneducated because they couldn't read or perhaps English wasn't their first language. So we needed to come up with a new way that delivered the same training and skills acquisition in a way that it didn't matter whether you were English speaking or whether you had high literacy levels. So we created these games that had really high resonance with people of all ages. And if you have kids, you'll you'll understand how, how much they're connected to their phones playing games. But it doesn't have to be games for evil. It can be games for good. And games, the good is all about intertwining educational outcomes in a fun, immersive competitive environment.

Yeah. What would be some examples of games for kids? That would not be evil? I guess it would be on the in terms of they would be productive in terms of like education or learning skills.

Yeah, sure. So we've created a series called The tycoon games and the tycoon games gives kids the opportunity to run and own their own business. So they get to set up their own business in either construction, or retail, or hospitality or tick and I consider During tech business, and a big part of that is understanding what is required from a resources point of view HR from a balance sheet and a budget train of financial point of view. So a lot of a lot of financial acumen goes into that and financial literacy, then you start looking at how you resource that how you manage the planning, project management, and then we create a game wrapping around this scenario, and the kids can play it for weeks on end. And at the end of that, they're able to go receive micro credentials for their achievements. It's not a test at the end of it, but you're actually are being assessed in your cause and effect what you do in that game. And that that's in every secondary school in New Zealand, and certainly super excited to say the year in which in New Zealand is your age about 14 years old. That was the widely adopted throughout New Zealand. The end of pilot for one term, which was 12 weeks, one hour a week, they're able to be testing at two years above their level. So that so that's here 13. And what, why and how they could do that? Well, there weren't just learning the theory of what a balance sheet is or what resources or what project management is, they're actually applying it within the game, having a lot of fun being super competitive with other schools and their peers. And they had a ball and at the end of it, they had this really tremendous understanding about business was all about not just entrepreneurial skills, but also some of the soft skills that that was required. So the the business side of things, and you just can't create in a normal environment, you came in a game, and if you give them the the latitude in the flexibility to play the game, the learning outcomes are quite tremendous.

Wow. So in the United States, so who, how can and who would be someone that would could either use your platform? Are there any titles that are available? Or just what can we do to take advantage of the work that you're creating? Yeah. Well, thank you, Josh.

So there's there's other 14 industries which we're working with which have direct application in the US and we're already in the US at the moment, talking actively to different partners. So if you're in the construction vertical, or if you're in retail, or if you're in different elements of construction, like scaffolding or praxian, petrochemical, agrochemical, you're in viticulture, horticulture, agriculture, Helston and safety, all of those we have a massive library content that companies can pick up, they can make it their own, they can brand it themselves. But ultimately, we'd love to be able to share the amazing work that we've been able to achieve in little old New Zealand. Because work when you can take someone's learning outcomes from this and 20% to 98%. And they've been failing traditional education. And you can turn that around in a health and safety and environment. And you can prove that not only you can create a sustainable employment outcome, but you can make a safe work environment. That's got to be good for everyone.

I think so. And, you know, I think anybody if they were to look into their crystal ball and say, Hmm, where are we going with learning and education? Do you think it's going to be more VR AR and and, you know, AI and everything else that's just much more intelligent, much more efficient and, you know, creates a much more realistic environment and everybody would agree with that. So James, I think it's pretty good positioning to develop such a successful brand and platform as you have over the past four and a half years. So congratulations on that. And is there any other way that people can engage with you or kind of get started in the work that you're doing?

Yeah, sure. I mean, they can they can reach out to me on LinkedIn or just my normal email address, which is James at joy Business Academy comm love to hear from people. At the end of the day, what we what we sent around solving people's problems, and it doesn't matter what industry you're in, or what challenges you face, I would imagine training onboarding and ducting and providing the the staff which they most valued asset, opportunities to grow and develop is right at the top of everybody's list. We'd love to hear how it could help.

Well, James Coddington You are the co founder and CEO at Joy Business Academy. I mean, you're on the web at JoyBusinessAcademy.com. Thank you so much for joining us.

Cool. Thanks, Josh. Really appreciate your time.

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