You undoubtedly have heard about the metaverse, but did you know it has the potential to revolutionize training? What is the metaverse? One way to think about it is a virtual shared space created by virtually-enhanced physical and digital reality. The metaverse allows us to move from the real to the digital world, interacting with coworkers wherever they may be using human avatars.
The metaverse will also allow learners to see product repair work on a 3-D replica before working on the actual product. Trainees can enter the metaverse through a virtual reality (VR) headset. Trainees can look in different directions, talk, walk around, make gestures, and move and touch objects with their hands. The metaverse feels “real” and immerses the trainee in a virtual world. Everything the trainee does is trackable and measurable.
The metaverse is also accessible through mobile phones, tablet computers, and laptops. Consider these examples. Trainers at Alarm.com can use their laptops to watch trainees wearing VR headsets practice wiring an alarm system. At the International Finishing Trades Institute, trainees enter a virtual construction site and can tape drywall seams in a room or perform any of the other tasks that a drywall finisher might perform. Team members at healthcare provider DaVita experience a virtual dialysis clinic through their patients’ eyes, listening in on conversations between patients and caregivers and responding to concerns. An immersive learning content provider Talespin developed the Residential Damage at First Notice of Loss learning module. In this module trainees work in environments that replicate real-life insurance claim investigation processes for residential water damage. Learners experience different scenarios of issues in a customer’s home, such as inspecting a leaking shower head or a dishwasher leak.
Questions for Students
How can training in the metaverse facilitate learning and transfer of training better than other hands-on or team-training methods?
What are some potential disadvantages of training in the metaverse?
What training outcomes would you recommend be used to evaluate the Residential Damage at First Notice of Loss module described in the case?
Note to Instructors
This case gives students the opportunity to consider how training in the metaverse enhances most of the conditions necessary for learning to occur. Also, although it is novel and attractive, training in the metaverse does have its drawbacks, including development costs, trainees experiencing dizziness and nausea, trainees not taking the experience seriously, and the need for trainees to have some prerequisite knowledge and skills to gain from the virtual experience. Using the metaverse for training has the potential to reduce training time and enhance learning. To learn more about the metaverse for training see https://elearningindustry.com/when-the-metaverse-meets-online-learning and https://www.fastcompany.com/90718970/this-is-how-the-metaverse-can-supercharge-corporate-skills-training.
Sources: A. Gronstedt, “The Dawn of Metaverse Learning”, TD (June 2022): 30-35; Talespin Team, “Learning in the Metaverse: Understanding the Role Immersive Learning Content Plays in the Metaverse” (June 22, 2022) from https://www.talespin.com/blog-post/learning-in-the-metaverse-understanding-the-role-immersive-learning-content-plays-in-the-metaverse.