Evolving your eLearning to keep up with technology may feel like a natural choice for your organization. With the increased integration of Web 3.0 and metaverse components in our daily lives, you have probably already been thinking about how you can apply this to your employee training. But how and when should you make the change to best complement your current training?
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is the next major stage in the evolution of the internet. To understand Web 3.0, let’s first take a look at the previous stages.
The early internet was heavily read-only and static. Most consumers were passive users, absorbing information but not contributing to it. While some tech geeks were honing their HTML skills, average internet users were discovering the power of the web for looking up information, sending emails, and connecting through early chat services, such as AOL Instant Messenger.
Web 2.0 is also referred to as the participative social web. The last 15-20 years have seen the explosion of content created by users, social networking, and cloud computing. Some examples of applications characteristic of Web 2.0 are Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Tik Tok. The amount of content continues to grow at exponential rates, and advertising has become more targeted and more personal.
And the smartphone made it all mobile.
Web 3.0 is the web of the future, and there is no clear definition of what it is or how exactly it will evolve. What we do know is that it will be decentralized, permissionless (authorization from a governing body will not be required), and trustless (users interact directly without an intermediary). We’ll also see a big growth in decentralized apps, or dApps.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is the internet based on virtual worlds where people interact as avatars. It is still a future vision of the internet, but it is becoming clearer and more defined.
Some examples of technologies that could transform our world and bring on the metaverse include:
- Blockchain technology, which powers trends like blockchain currencies (think Bitcoin) and NFT assets
- Virtual reality (VR)
- Augmented reality
Activities in the metaverse could replace some real-world experiences. As the metaverse develops, people may have increasingly authentic experiences of being present in other places. The development of spatial sound, photo-real avatars, and haptic gloves or suits contribute to this effect.
Applications for employee training in the metaverse
You’re probably aware of virtual reality gaming devices that immerse players in a 3D world. But VR isn’t just for games. Using VR for learning can provide visuals and dimension not available in traditional 2D learning. Imagine allowing a learner to interact with a machine or other equipment instead of just telling them about it.
Scenarios can be used as part of the immersive experience to create a connection between the learner and the material they’re learning. Rather than presenting a video or slides about a topic, VR puts the user inside the lesson, allowing them to experience the content.
Advantages for employee training in the metaverse
Organizations have been successfully using simulations for training professionals in certain careers for decades. Pilots’ simulations prevent potential damage to expensive aircraft, and medical simulations provide students with the opportunity to practice cutting with a scalpel without cutting into a person.
Training in the metaverse offers advantages beyond safety.
According to one study, VR learners were:
- Trained four times faster than classroom learners
- 275% more confident in their skills
- 3.75 times more emotionally connected to content than classroom learners
- Four times more focused than their traditional eLearning peers
The researchers note that a typical course that would take two hours in the classroom or 45 minutes through eLearning could be accomplished in only 29 minutes using VR.
One benefit of VR learning is increased mental focus. Whereas classroom learners reported being distracted .78 times and eLearners 1.93 times, VR learners reported being distracted .48 times. After the distractions, classroom learners reported it took 1 full minute to get back on task, eLearners 2.63 minutes, but VR learners only .48 minutes.
Disadvantages for employee training in the metaverse
The initial cost of purchasing and setting up VR equipment can be prohibitive. Using a quickly evolving technology can be exciting and give your training an edge. However, it also comes with the risk that the technology you purchase today may quickly become obsolete.
There are also some safety issues related to using VR. When a learner is fully immersed in a VR environment, they may not be aware of their surroundings. For example, a person playing a VR game might bump into furniture or trip over cables while trying to complete a task. So it’s important to make sure that learners have a clean, clear physical space to interact in, whether at home or at work.
Additionally, some people may experience vertigo when using VR or might have trouble hearing alarms or other safety devices. However, most safety concerns related to VR can be mitigated.
Does employee training in the metaverse make sense for your company?
Before sending employees on an immersive learning trip, you should ask yourself, “What can this add to my current training?” If you are adding VR elements or switching to entirely VR training because it is exciting and new, maybe this isn’t the best time for you to make the change. If the technology can add to your training program and gives your employees a learning advantage, it may be worth investigating further.
At EdgePoint, we look forward to partnering with our customers to explore how training will evolve as Web 3.0 and the metaverse grow and mature. Do you have ideas on how we can work together to explore this new world? We would love to roll up our sleeves, get creative, and learn together. Let’s talk about it!