Learning from Virtual Applications as Taught by My 7-Year Old – by Mereoni Robbins

I recently sat down to spend some time with my 7-year old. I always enjoy the time we have not only because it’s flying by so fast (and I’m trying to enjoy each fleeting moment) but it’s so nice to allow myself to ‘slip back’ to being a 7-year old. I quite like my 7-year old self! She’s fun, explorative and a real risk-taker. It’s given me a greater appreciation for tuning out and just letting go from the world for a minute.

While Nate still enjoys playing with other toys and loves a good kick of the footy on a sunny day, he’s like many other kids his age – he loves his iPad and computer games notably, the X Box.

On a recent rainy day in Melbourne, he pulled me into playing a LEGO™ game with him on it the other night. In the game, we were thrown into a virtual world (Star Wars namely – he’s obsessed!) and before too long, I’d completely forgotten about our dinner cooking away in the oven. I had surrendered myself to the gaming environment and before I could blink, I was completely immersed in this other world! Need I say, dinner was burnt!

It got me thinking about the many conversations I’m having with our clients around their specific needs and business environments and my golden rule when designing any learning tool –

IT.MUST.BE.FIT.FOR.PURPOSE.

It needs to be fit for your audience, their needs, their environment and lastly (but also importantly!), your budget, among other things.
Based on my own interactions with clients, assessing their problems and utilising virtual applications as part of the solution, I thought I would share a few relevant examples in the hope that they may be of use to others.

1. Create a gaming environment that encourages exploration

The beauty of virtual environments is that they don’t need to be linear in nature. You might want an individual to make decisions, navigate scenarios and explore a specific landscape as they would in real-life. Long gone are the days of clicking next! YAWN.

2. Scalability = cost reduction

Once upon a time, a virtual experience roll-out was almost impossible due to the prohibitive costs involved for implementation. Thanks to Google cardboard and other replications, your teams can experience virtual reality for a fraction of the cost! This means that virtual reality has a far greater reach than once thought. Cost reductions take the form of trainer, venue and travel costs while still providing a similar experience as if the content were delivered in classroom format.

3. Safety training

An obvious one for many. Compliance training (think electrical safety as a big one), lends itself perfectly to learning in a virtual environment without the need for the learner to be put in danger (electrocuted!). It provides a real-life context that is safe and can simulate a likely situation while at the same time allowing employees to assess environments and make decisions that impact their work while also having real-world implications. The result is direct practice, meaning knowledge transfer becomes almost immediate.

4. Induction

Induction training is a great example of where virtual applications can be incredibly effective when used well. They can be used in the form of tutorials, virtual collaboration rooms or virtual reality scenarios where new hires can meet the team without the team having to be physically present at all. It also works as a good talent attraction aid. When designed and used correctly, it can serve to demonstrate the progressive and contemporary nature of your organisation.

5.Transport them to the other side of the planet (and beyond!)

You might want your team in Switzerland to understand the manufacturing plant floor and how it operates in China as part of a senior leadership development program. Or you might want your team in Australia to understand how your design team works in India. Re-creating an operational environment can help your leaders make more strategic decisions while enabling them to better understand an unfamiliar cultural landscape.

Whether it’s 360 video, virtual or augmented reality or a combination of these, easyA help organisations across industry and geography to identify relevant solutions that bring learning experiences to life.

Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to discuss how we might be able to help you do the same.

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