When Mark Zuckerberg announced the rebranding of Facebook on Meta, the word Metavers became buzzword overnight. In addition to generating excitement, the concept has raised concerns about the potential to impact the future of digital interaction. Neil Stephenson coined the term “metavers” in his science fiction novel Snow accident, In which he imagined living avatars interacting with each other in realistic 3D buildings and other virtual reality (VR) environments. In January 2022, Google and Microsoft followed suit and announced investments in Metaverse. According to Statista, the metaverse market size is expected to reach $ 47.48 billion, before increasing to $ 678.8 billion by 2030.
Metavers refers to an online environment where augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality can coexist. It provides a new digital world to collaborate, solve problems and practice with an interactive engagement method. Metavers allow people to learn faster, retain information better, and manage their own learning experiences. This environment mimics the physical world while incorporating digital devices and allowing learners to interact as incarnations. Metaverse activities can replace real-world experiences, and with the development of metaverse learners there may be increasingly authentic experiences of being present in other areas.
Technologies that play a major role in metavers
1. Virtual reality
Virtual reality refers to a 3D and computer-generated virtual environment that either creates real-world illusions and has the potential to provide truly immersive and engaging learning experiences. Using VR as part of the training experience will allow students to learn and develop ways to go beyond the classroom setting. VR allows learners to experience real life situations in the real world without risking their safety. One of the most notable uses of VR appears in the video game industry.
2. Augmented reality
In augmented reality, objects are created and refined with real-time text, graphics, audio and virtual information. It enhances the digital experience by combining natural environments and virtual spaces where objects interact with the world. AR is best suited for specialized technical training where learners need quick reference for technical information to repair or use machinery. By reducing distractions and attracting students’ attention, it increases physical engagement with digital content.
Effects of Metavers in the Learning Domain
Industries dealing with high-risk environments such as construction, energy, and construction are already reaping the benefits of metavers education. Now other industries are showing interest and looking for places to expand their training programs. Metavers provides an infinitely expanded learning environment that provides a learning-centric experience due to the emotional and cognitive effects that can be achieved by creating true immersions. With the growing number of organizations moving to remote or hybrid workplaces, executives not only appreciate the need but also embrace new approaches to training and developing their teams to stay agile and competitive. Metaverse support technologies allow learners to engage in any environment or situation. By using Metavers in conjunction with Learning and Development (L&D), learners will be able to experience new ways of learning, overcoming their physical limitations.
Metavers will revolutionize training and skill development, greatly reducing the time required to develop and acquire new skills. Experimental learning is the most effective way of learning, according to a recent study, which has shown that learning through experience enhances the quality of learning and keeps information up to 75% better. As a result of metavers learning, the simulations will be avatar-based, geared towards collaborative learning as well as interactive work. Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least an hour a day in Metavers. Here are some of the cases that are emerging in each industry:
1. Unboarding training
Employee unboarding, and training employees on various services / products and company policies can be difficult and time-consuming. Metavers is an intuitive solution where new hires join the virtual space and become familiar with the culture and ethics of the organization. In addition to benefiting new hires, Metavers helps the organization by reducing training time and creating lasting effects.
2. Safety training
Organizations use this technology to engage learners for critical training, practice and provide immediate feedback. Metavers provides students with immersive safety training experience in which students can become familiar with the dangers and risks in the workplace while remaining completely safe.
3. Sales training
Gone are the days of classroom-based training. Metavers are used to provide sophisticated training to employees. Instructors and sales staff can meet with their managers at Metverse for sales training. Using storytelling and branch scenarios helps employees prepare for a variety of situations and guides their learning experiences.
4. Skill training
Content is one of the direct costs associated with personal training. Metavers allow learners to make mistakes without leaving material. It facilitates learning without any hesitation and saves resources. Metaverse training is used not only for technical training but also for soft skills training. Metaverse avatars help develop important skills, such as communication, teamwork, customer service, and people-facing skills. The Metavers platform enables learners to gain hands-on experience that speeds up their learning process and enhances efficiency.
In addition, Metavers can be used to virtualize different types of training. It can be used to develop a complete training setup – classroom, stage, podium and seat desks for a real life-like experience. In training sessions, trainees can appear as avatars, as real as possible, or as imaginary as desired.
How Metavers Add Value to Training
In the age of eLearning, employers seek to create more interactive and engaging learning experiences for their employees. Learning through Metaverse allows learners to gain experience and exposure. It allows L&D teams to link immersive content and embed storytelling methods to express learning in new and exciting ways. Their 3D technology, and interactive design and modules, make VR and AR a powerful vehicle for more meaningful learning. Metavers can benefit eLearning in many ways:
1. Learner-centric solutions
Learners today want relevant education that they can relate to and stick to. Metaverse environments are fascinating, exciting, and interactive places to learn and practice, without limiting the use of time or materials. It enhances staff engagement by creating attractive learning environments that allow students to learn and interact with peers, managers, and instructors in real time. The more actively learners engage in learning, the more effective the results. This type of learning is an advanced form of active learning that creates a fully simulated environment for learning, to play a broad role or in situations where learners interact with experience. These features have made metaverse technology a popular tool for creating immersive learning environments. In addition, the fun is that learning will be more effective.
2. Make good decisions
With the help of Metavers, organizations can provide more opportunities for learners to learn and access knowledge. Metavers help make decisions because everything can be measured. Understanding learners’ behavior in Metaverse and how they engage and gain information today will help identify opportunities to improve their experience. Learning analytics provides in-depth insights into how learners are progressing and achieving their goals. Measuring the effectiveness of the training program helps organizations find out what the learner needs, and to decide whether the training courses are working for a particular set of staff. The virtual world will continue to grow and develop based on the decisions and actions taken to increase employee engagement and efficiency.
3. Addressing the hybrid workplace
As a result of the epidemic, organizations have changed the way they work, work, and cooperate with their employees. As almost all organizations move from home to work or a hybrid workplace model, connectivity and collaboration with employees has become increasingly challenging. Metavers has the ability to address all existing challenges in remote work. It provides organizations with tools to use for department-centered training, big-time events and everything in between. It provides managers with a virtual environment where they can meet employees (their avatars), interact with them, and maintain personal interaction. Virtual space can be dedicated to different teams to help solve important business problems. Using avatars, Metavers enables the organization’s communication and collaboration to become more interactive. It helps employees and employers grow together.
As technologies evolve, we need to keep an eye on more sophisticated modalities and their learning effectiveness. Metavers is another development of the Internet and it has already begun. Metavers will have a significant impact on eLearning, providing a more vibrant experience to the virtual learning environment and making learning itself more engaging and experiential. Organizations should choose their learning modalities wisely and ensure that it is aligned with what learners want and professional needs.