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What Does the Metaverse Mean for Learning?

January 25, 2023 | By David Wentworth



The Challenge

The term Metaverse has gotten a lot of attention recently, mostly due to Facebook changing its name to Meta and declaring that everything will soon take place within its version of the metaverse. And while the commercial future of the metaverse as one of Meta’s products is unsure, the idea of connections, communication, and collaboration occurring in a virtual space is not.

Metaverses are immersive 3D digital worlds based on virtual reality gaming experiences. Metaverses allow people to enter using their real-life identities and use these platforms to work as well as shop, play, and connect. In human capital management, metaverses promise to create more realistic, immersive, and personal digital experiences.

Brandon Hall Group’s pulse survey, How Will the Metaverse Impact Human Capital Management?, showed that 46% of organizations are at least moderately familiar with the concept of the metaverse, yet nearly two-thirds agree “the metaverse has great potential and we should start preparing now even though full adoption could be years away.”

When focusing specifically on Learning and Development, however, Companies see even more potential. Nearly 80% of companies in Brandon Hall Group’s Transforming Learning for the Future of Work survey say that the metaverse will have at least some impact on their learning strategy.

The Rethink

The metaverse, once developed, is a more immersive way to communicate with people who are physically apart. As far as we have come with the use of collaboration technologies during the pandemic, it is still basically two-dimensional video with decent audio.

As hybrid work evolves and more workers are physically separated from their colleagues, immersive work experiences – ranging from hiring to onboarding, training, collaborating, meeting, selling, marketing, and more – will be increasingly important.

But the metaverse is the future of HCM technology and especially L&D. Learning leaders should embrace the concept and use the time they have before the metaverse is fully developed to develop a vision, strategy, and roadmap.

The Recommendation

What Brandon Hall Group has to Say About EI’s Solution

Brandon Hall Group Smartchoice Platinum© Preferred Provider EI has been helping clients build immersive, virtual learning interactions before the term metaverse came into the lexicon. They understand the value of creating virtual spaces for geographically dispersed people to collaborate and learn. EI sees the potential of the metaverse to greatly enhance concepts that have already proved to be engaging and effective when it comes to building learning experiences.

EI already has a track record of creating the fundamental building blocks that will make the metaverse effective. Their Learning Experience Centers are a combination of both virtual and physical spaces to create immersive learning experiences supported by augmented, virtual, and mixed reality technology. Their expertise in creating immersive, engaging videos and simulations that are gamified, interactive and personalized position them well to build the elements that make a metaverse environment successful. Now EI is leading the way in the metaverse with their XR Optimus platform which is designed to create and deliver virtual and augmented reality content at scale.

The metaverse offers the most immersive learning experiences to date, aside from literal on-the-job training. Virtual and augmented reality provide opportunities to move away from passive video, audio, and static PowerPoint-based eLearning into more immersive content. EI also sees great potential in expanding the gamification of learning within the metaverse. The metaverse also expands the possibilities of the social elements of learning. It means the leap from discussion boards to real-time interactions and collaboration — complete with gestures and visual cues.

Ultimately, however, the core appeal of the metaverse is higher-quality simulations based on real-world scenarios with life-like content. The learning becomes much more interactive, hands-on, and practical.

David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

David Wentworth
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