I can still recall my first encounters with e-learning tools two decades ago. They were click-through exercises on my company’s code of conduct and sourcing policies. As important as these exercises were, I don’t remember being thrilled with the quality of the content.
That was then, in the formative days of the internet.
Today, e-learning is of course an altogether more sophisticated affair. Many corporations have dedicated learning teams to inspire workplace skill development, while platforms like Udemy and Coursera offer thousands of online courses to an increasingly hybrid workforce.
The online learning landscape isn’t just expanding – it’s diversifying.
Most notably, virtual and augmented reality technologies are now coming into the workplace, offering teams more interactive and immersive learning experiences. I’ve previously highlighted how VR training can make the process of learning more active, in turn bolstering knowledge retention.
The question is: how do you start incorporating these immersive technologies in your organization’s learning and training curriculum?
The newness of it all can be intimidating, so in this post, I offer a few tips to help you kick-start this process.
1. Ease your team into the world of VR training
My first tip is to avoid jumping straight into the deep end with immersive technologies.
If your teams have never put on a headset, it’s important to start with an explanation of the VR benefits and how it will help their work. After that you can then start distributing headsets and scheduling onboarding sessions to familiarize your team with the tech, guiding them on how to navigate different spaces and interact with others.
2. Keep your onboarding sessions light and engaging
When you go into that first onboarding session, it’s important to have a plan.
Prepare the materials and the space in advance. This way, everything is in place when you arrive for the session itself, including any written instructions or collaboration tools you’d like to use, as Air France KLM Group demonstrates. Some spaces have breakout rooms, so think about how you might use them.
Remember to keep the session light-hearted and engaging.
Avoid information overload.
Instead, focus on encouraging participation and collaboration. If you’re hosting a larger group, establish some house rules, such as muting when not speaking or raising hands to signal intent to speak.
Lastly, in the first session, encourage exploration – be there to assist, but allow for independent discovery.
3. Create your own VR learning experiences
Beyond that introductory session is where things get really exciting as you have the opportunity to create and curate your own VR training experiences.
Could parts of your company’s training program benefit from an immersion into the VR world, giving them the vibrancy they perhaps lack in more traditional formats? (I imagine that company staples like code of conduct and sourcing training could be made a whole lot more engaging in VR :))
Beyond that, what other unique learning experiences might you develop?
Perhaps you could digitize a training workshop that’s challenging or expensive to conduct in the real world, or create a demo showcase to train staff and customers on your products and truly stand out from the crowd.
As VR offers an immersive platform conducive to storytelling and interaction, you should be striving to create wow experiences that captivate your audience. Just like IQM has done when showcasing its quantum computing technology to customers.
For any new VR training session you create, I’d also recommend you think about building in a fun icebreaker activity: as headroom’s Daniel Schaefer explains, an icebreaker can get people “used to expressing themselves in the space” and to help foster that “sense of togetherness”.
4. Get feedback after each session
VR training solutions are flexible and can be readily adjusted based on feedback. Take the time to understand from your colleagues what worked and what didn’t.
Every team is unique and finding the most effective use cases for them is key, as exemplified by Axel Springer, which experimented with a wide array of environments and meetings before zeroing in on the most effective ones.
As with any new technology, VR use in business for learning and employee training presents a learning curve. However, the rewards are worth the investment.
Businesses are discovering that VR enables highly effective training. It allows employees to practice skills in a safe, controlled environment, receive instant feedback, and learn through an engaging, hands-on approach, often surpassing the effectiveness of traditional training methods.
Ready to explore the possibilities of immersive VR learning?
Book a demo to explore metaverse opportunities for your business.