Needs Analysis For Impactful Immersive Training
I’ve said it before, and I know I’m not alone on this soapbox: Organizations have a unique ability—and responsibility—to create abundance for their people. As L&D leaders and professionals, we contribute to that abundance by offering skilling solutions that help our people elevate their craft and prepare for the future of work.
And thanks to my recent guided tour of the metaverse and other virtual worlds, I’ve discovered that immersive learning solutions are some of the best ways to achieve these human-centered goals. (Ready for your own immersive learning tour? Check out our eBook, Ready, Learner One? The L&D Innovator’s Gateway To Immersive Learning and the Metaverse!)
When I began my own learning journey, I noticed that there was no step-by-step guide to getting started. So I linked up with my friends on the SweetRush Immersive Technology team—and we built our own. The following itinerary will help you, your team, your stakeholders, and your organization’s leaders chart your journey to the center of the metaverse.
But first, the rules.
Immersive Learning Rule #1: Don’t Follow The Shiny Object!
With exciting technologies and features emerging every day, we know that’s easier said than done. But the journey into the metaverse begins with a step every learning leader knows well: needs analysis.
You’ll need to have some deep conversations with your leaders and stakeholders before starting your journey—or even approaching a vendor-partner. (And when you are finally ready to meet your perfect-match vendor-partner, they’ll ask about the results of this vital first step!)
Now that we’ve covered the rules (well, rule), you’re ready to start your needs analysis.
Needs Analysis: 7 Steps To Your Bucket-List Immersive Learning Journey
1. Explore The Business Needs
Get a read on your current and future business needs and what your people will need to be able to do to meet those needs. Your business partners and stakeholders will be more than happy to share their wish lists!
2. Find (And Mind!) The Gap
Together with your business partners and stakeholders, define the performance gap: what learners do now vs. what they should be doing. The difference between these two will help you define the performance gap and decide upon the learning and performance objectives you want to meet.
Familiar territory, right? You’ve got this!
Just for fun, choose the best guiding question to move your inquiry forward:
A: How do I build a learning program in the metaverse that meets these learning and performance objectives?
B: What is the best learning experience, technology, and modality to meet our learning and performance objectives—even if these don’t end up including the metaverse?
If you chose Question B, you’re absolutely right! Your learning and performance objectives, not cool new technology, should determine your way forward.
If you chose Question A, we love your excitement—and we promise you’ll get there! The following steps will help you find your way.
3. Press Pause
Pause and make sure your learning strategy is defined and aligned with your organizational mission. If your L&D program is still working on securing learner or stakeholder buy-in, work on that issue first—don’t bring it into the metaverse!
4. Be Choosy
Choose a single performance objective to address in the metaverse. Try to choose one that could potentially yield the maximum impact on your business.
Create a prototype to address your chosen performance objective.
Note: You’ve probably noticed that we’ve compressed several steps here: finding a partner, talking through your needs, and the wild and wonderful process of creation and revision—to name a few. (Need those details now? You can find them in our immersive learning eBook!)
6. Test And Listen
Invite your stakeholders and learners to try your prototype—and gather their feedback. Bonus: Meet them in a metaverse and observe their reactions in real time. What do they love? Where do they lose interest or get stuck?
7. Apply Feedback
If your prototype shows promise, apply learner and stakeholder feedback to improve it further. Then: Deploy, rinse, and repeat.
Results: The Metaverse? Or Beyond?
If these steps have uncovered real needs and a prototype that shows potential, you’re ready for the next layer of needs analysis: the hardware, technology, and strategy questions your organization needs to consider before jumping into the metaverse.
At this level, you’ll need your in-house IT, user experience and user interface (UX and UI), and design experts, as well as your leaders and stakeholders. Any gamers on your team who already spend their leisure time in a metaverse or two can also add valuable perspective.
If this feels like a lot and you’d like a trusted vendor-partner to guide these conversations, go straight to our checklist for help finding The One.
Finding that your organization isn’t quite ready to immerse in the metaverse? No worries! You can still transform your people and your business with immersive learning outside the metaverse.
Continue Your Immersive Learning Journey
In the meantime, I’d encourage you to keep metaverse technologies, developments, and news on your personal and professional radar—and to keep sharing your discoveries with your team, leaders, and stakeholders.
Whether you’re looking for a full tutorial or a few talking points, we’re here to help!
That’s why we’ve created an L&D-exclusive journey through XR technology, needs analysis, and L&D use cases for immersive learning in the metaverse and beyond. Our eBook, Ready, Learner One? The L&D Innovator’s Gateway To Immersive Learning and the Metaverse, will help you start conversations, deepen your learning strategy, and invite your learners on immersive learning journeys that help them develop their craft and prepare for the future of work.
You can also join our webinar to discover how you can embark on your own immersive learning adventure.