The idea ‘pop on your Virtual Reality (VR) goggles and find yourself in a completely new dimension, a new world’, has managed to find its place in the digital market. But how would one use this extraordinary technology in the business world, especially when the organizations are undergoing a revolutionary digital transformation throughout the world? How would one adapt to the idea of creating a virtual environment for corporate learners, for example?
Imagine yourself sitting at your home in front of your computer screen, working on your regular, mundane tasks, when you realize it is time to access your organization’s Learning Management System (LMS) and join an online training course. How exciting would it be if you could, while sitting on your couch, find your virtual twin in a realistic, three-dimensional setting – a conference room just like you have at your organization, maybe?
‘Metaverse‘ can make this happen.
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is nothing but a virtually augmented hybrid environment that will blend together the physical and digital elements, enabling the users to create their ‘avatars’, or digital counterparts to interact and engage in real-time. Some of the extending reality technologies which are powering the metaverse are:
- Virtual reality (VR)
- Augmented Reality
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- 3D reconstruction
- Brain-computer interfaces (BCI)
- Internet of Things (IoT)
What does it mean for the future of Learning and Development in the corporate sector?
Metaverse seems ready to reshape the professional world in a number of ways, especially in terms of offering an acceleration of e-learning and skill development opportunities. Imagine integrating your organization’s LMS with metaverse.
You wouldn’t just be looking at informative presentations or learning theories, you would be practicing as well. This is because metaverse promises to offer a visually powerful, immersive environment.
A straightforward example of this would be the possibility of employees or workers learning to use new machinery. A step-by-step visual demonstration would help the online learners grasp the operations quickly. This method of e-learning could also introduce AI-enabled virtual coaches that would assist online learners when they get stuck. The virtual coaches or facilitators could even assign challenges to the employees.
Another useful example of metaverse training would be for knowledge workers, who could undertake an online course on, for example, “dealing with difficult clients”, in the form of a virtual reality role-play exercise. It could also enable the online learner to practice pitching sales in front of a simulated crowd.
The most important advantage of metaverse training is that it will allow a multiple, safe, real-like, immersive environment for the employees to learn and develop their skills any time, for any number of times, and from anywhere in the world.
What are the areas of corporate learning and development that Metaverse may impact?
Metaverse has a great potential to impact almost every aspect of Learning and Development. The areas of L&D which may be influenced the most are:
This is an area that has already started to be influenced by Metaverse. Australia and New Zealand offices of Accenture, an Ireland-based IT firm, have developed a metaverse “One Accenture Park” for onboarding their new employees.
You are simply required to create your avatar to enter the virtual world of Accenture and interact with colleagues, participate in online orientation programs, and experience immersive, hands-on demonstrations.
Corporate Learning Platform
Metaverse will enable the organizations to make e-learning more fun, exciting, engaging, and highly interactive, taking the Corporate Learning Platforms to a next level.
The administrators would no longer have to push the employees to complete their online training programmes, and the online learners would stay motivated and keen to learn and develop their skills.
Gamification of e-Learning Courses
E-learning courses will be given a facelift. Since the metaverse is largely empowered by the gaming technologies, it will enable the organizations to leverage this to gamify their e-learning courses.
For example, you may be required to take part in an office situation, as a part of the online training, where you may be required to use the data and information provided to make multiple decisions. Your responses, consequently, may be used to evaluate your performance and provide meaningful feedback.
Simulating e-Learning Environments
Training simulations have already been a part of a few industries such as pilot training and medical training. Metaverse allows the organizations to create simulating e-learning environments, where you can take a practical approach to understanding concepts, without worrying about what could happen if something went wrong.
For example, an engineer may learn to operate an advanced piece of equipment by attempting to fix a technical problem and see the results immediately after the simulation, without any dire consequences.
Enhanced e-Learning Resources Supported by 3D Visualizations
The purpose of developing e-learning courses is to provide the necessary support to the employees to develop and grow within their organization. Presently, you are given e-learning resources such as documents and presentations.
The metaverse, on the other hand, would enable the developers to create e-learning resources that are supported by a variety of virtual environments and 3D visualizations, which may be accessed by the employees as many times as they wanted, to practice, learn and develop new skills.
Support to Facilitators
Metaverse will allow the facilitators to interact with the online learners one-on-one, just like during an in-person classroom training.
The facilitators will also be able to share their observations and comments with the learners during the online training session, and also enable the participants to learn from each other, thereby contriving behavioral and social learning.
Metaverse is the future of technology, as the world swiftly metamorphosizes into a completely new, technologically advanced virtual reality. Metaverse training, in the corporate world, would mean an immersive, engaging, time-saving, and meaningful learning experience for the online learners.
Metaverse is in nascent stages as far as its day-to-day usage is concerned, however, it has a great potential in shifting the way the organizations train their employees. The Learning and Development sector in the corporate environment is sure to get benefitted from the metaverse. It brings a promise to be more effective in facilitating the overall professional development of the employees.
Whether or not it successfully manages to seep into the lives of one and all, only time will tell.