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May 17, 2023

How to Gamify Learning and Development in the Metaverse

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Gamifying learning and development programs in the metaverse can offer significant benefits to both corporations and universities. In the metaverse, learners can explore and interact with virtual environments and each other, making the learning process more interactive, collaborative, and personalized.

“Gamification increases engagement, keeping everyone interested in the lesson,” says Alex Howland, Ph.D., President and Co-founder of Virbela. “When learners can walk around and interact with different content, scenes, and each other, we see heightened comprehension and retention of program material.”

At Virbela, we’ve worked with several clients to develop gamified learning solutions. Some of the benefits they report include:

  • Create immersive and interactive learning environments that can simulate real-world scenarios and challenges.
  • Foster a sense of community and collaboration among learners, encouraging teamwork and knowledge-sharing.
  • Increase engagement and motivation among learners, making the learning process more enjoyable and effective.
  • Provide real-time feedback, allowing learners to track their progress and identify areas for improvement.

Here, we’ll run through a few ideas to inspire your team, so you can make sure your learning and development programs are as effective as possible.

Program Design

Designing a learning and development program in the metaverse requires careful planning and consideration of learners' needs, goals, and preferences.

Your first goal is to define a clear learning path with a start and finish. Outline the program's objectives, modules, and assessments, designing each section to include information in a logical sequence.

At this stage, you’re thinking about what it’s like to learn this material. Is this the order that makes sense? Have you provided a framework for learners to absorb the information appropriately?

It may also help to explore how learners can track their progress and feel a sense of accomplishment as they advance through the program.

Global consultant firm PwC has achieved a strong metaverse program design by introducing their firm to candidates as a structured “choose your own adventure” experience.

Designed to give candidates a deeper connection with PwC, the company developed their program based on survey respondents who said they would be more likely to take a role if they first experienced it through technology.

Learning Together vs Asynchronous Lessons

Additionally, you may want to offer an asynchronous option for parts of the program. One of the main values of the metaverse is its ability to connect staff or students from anywhere in a shared space, but many organizations also count on their virtual worlds to provide flexibility. When learners can access learning and activities at any time, they may be more likely to complete courses and remember the information in a meaningful way.

By offering a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities, your program can cater to everyone’s diverse needs and preferences.

Scene Exploration

Exploring scenes in the metaverse is crucial for users to navigate and use the platform effectively. By exploring different scenes, learners can discover how to interact with other users and features in the environment, while becoming familiar with the layout of the world.

Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt in the metaverse can be a fun and engaging way for users to explore campus scenes while also providing a unique learning opportunity.

In this game, virtual world administrators can place design icons throughout the campus. For example, at Virbela’s user conference, HandsIn, we used sparkly purple owls. Attendees located the owls, collecting as many as they could.

Scavenger hunts can be an immersive part of building your learning and development programs. They can also foster collaboration and teamwork - or healthy competition - among users who may need to work together during the course as a whole.

Escape Room

Another game to get learners exploring the metaverse comes from business school Tecnológico de Monterrey. They did an escape room with 150 students as part of learning about credible sources online.

The game was based on an imagined world where fake news becomes true and information literacy is key to stopping its negative effects.

Participants worked together in teams to complete challenges that required them to use essential library tools to master information sources, identify fake news, and locate trustworthy sources. The game was designed to inspire students to learn while having fun and to promote collaboration and information literacy skills.

Study Halls

Create study halls in your virtual world to offer a shared space where learners can gather, review materials, test themselves and each other, and build confidence.

In a virtual study hall, anyone can access various types of content, including study guides, tutorials, interactive simulations, and discussion forums.

This content can help learners enhance learning, retention, and application of concepts and ideas. For instance, teams can run through scenarios to gain insight or use test modules to gain practical skills. Discussion can provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and collaboration.

A virtual study hall can also promote teamwork and collaboration among cohorts. By working together in a shared virtual environment, teams can build social connections, share knowledge, and collaborate on projects and assignments. They can also benefit from the diverse perspectives and experiences of their peers, which can enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

This is an innovative and engaging way to support learning and promote collaboration. You may want to make this space available to the rest of your organization for other programs or as a place to concentrate and focus on research.

Exams and Qualifications

Quizzes and exams are a typical way to ensure learners absorbed the material you presented. They can also be an effective way to reinforce learning.

There are various ways to incorporate quizzes into a virtual environment, including question-and-answer formats led by program leaders, integrations into games, and more advanced methods, like interactive simulations or chatbots designed as non-player characters.

Virtual Certificates and Swag

Providing virtual certificates and swag, such as graduation caps for avatars, can add value to learning and development programs.

Virtual certificates can serve as a tangible recognition of learners' achievements and provide a sense of pride in their accomplishments. You may also be able to provide certification credentials that can be shared on social media or displayed in virtual environments, increasing learners' visibility and building their personal brand.

Virtual swag, such as graduation caps, custom t-shirts or badges for avatars, can also provide a fun and engaging way for learners to celebrate their accomplishments and show off their participation in the program.

Getting Started

With high effectiveness and engagement, gamified learning and development programs can help organizations improve their training initiatives, while enhancing learner retention and satisfaction. For help developing your next learning and development program in the metaverse, reach out to Virbela at sales@virbela.com.

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