Immersive learning content is a new and innovative way for organizations to provide training and education to their employees. This type of content is designed to create immersive and engaging learning experiences that can help learners better retain information and develop new skills.
While custom-built immersive learning content is an option that offers companies plenty of great benefits and use cases, off-the-shelf immersive learning content offers several benefits as well.
In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of using off-the-shelf immersive learning content and how it can help organizations enhance their learning and development programs.
Off-the-shelf immersive learning content is pre-built content that can be used for training purposes without customization.
An immersive equivalent of off-the-shelf e-learning content libraries, off-the-shelf VR content is generally developed by subject matter experts, based on best practices for accomplishing a particular learning objective, and follows standards related to the training subject matter.
For example, an off-the-shelf learning module for effective behavioral feedback would follow a common feedback framework that is typically deployed for this training topic.
This type of content is designed to be broadly applicable and can be used to address common training needs for job roles across industries. This includes onboarding, compliance training, managerial skills development, and communication skills development.
Off-the-shelf immersive learning content is typically less expensive than custom-built content, and it can be quickly and easily implemented in existing training programs.
This makes it an attractive option for small to mid-sized companies that may not have the resources to build large custom VR learning programs right out of the gate.
It is also a great fit for enterprise organizations looking for an affordable entry point to adopt immersive learning, serving as excellent starter or pilot content for an immersive learning program.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of off-the-shelf immersive learning content.
As mentioned above, off-the-shelf immersive learning content is typically less expensive than custom-built content. Companies can save money by purchasing pre-built content instead of investing time and resources into creating their own.
This can present significant cost savings for small to mid-sized companies that may not have the resources to develop their own custom content.
While no-code content authoring tools have hit the market and made creating VR training content much easier and cheaper than it has ever been, off-the-shelf offerings take that benefit a step further.
There is no need to even learn a content creation tool—no matter how user friendly and easy it is to use. With the content offering pre-built inclusive of defined learning objectives, skills taught, and an integrated scoring framework (see below), training and learning and development teams can skip right to implementation and deployment to learners.
With an off-the-shelf content library identified, the next logical step is deployment, which leads us to another benefit. Off-the-shelf immersive learning content can be quickly and easily implemented in existing training programs thanks to pre-defined, tried and true deployment options.
For example, this content can be deployed to 2D devices via desktop streaming, as well as deployed to VR head mounted displays (HMDs) like the Meta Quest. LMS integrations and SSO integrations are also available with some off-the-shelf content libraries, eliminating the need for custom solutions to be developed.
These established deployment options can save time and resources for training departments, which can be focused on other priorities. There’s a reason VR training is being adopted at scale by companies of all sizes across industries—deployment methods have become standardized.
A benefit of VR training is the known learning efficacy. In studies like the PwC VR soft skills training study, VR training is proven to deliver better learning outcomes in comparison to e-learning and classroom learning. This has been true for metrics like:
Off-the-shelf VR training content offers these same benefits. In off-the-shelf soft skills training content, for example, learners engage in simulated role play with virtual human characters in virtual 3D environments. These learning experiences present emotional realism, allowing learners to experience scenario based learning that feels real.
When you adopt quality off-the-shelf content for your workforce (see next benefit below), you can enjoy the benefits of VR training, but in a format that is quick and easy to adopt, as mentioned above.
Off-the-shelf immersive learning content is developed by teams of learning designers and subject matter experts. Designed to be adopted by a high volume of organizations and learners, off-the-shelf content has to have a high quality bar. Otherwise it would fail as a product offering. Because the content is pre-built, it has already been tested and refined for optimal effectiveness.
Off-the-shelf VR training content libraries are intended to be used by a large number of organizations and learners, requiring them to maintain a high content quality bar.
While you should certainly evaluate every learning content offering for yourself before adopting, you can keep in mind that the content has been deployed by many organizations before you and used by thousands of learners. The reassurance that the content is high quality is a benefit that comes with the territory of an off-the-shelf VR training content library.
Off-the-shelf immersive learning content can be used for a variety of learning use cases, including onboarding, compliance training, and skill development. This makes it a versatile option for companies that need to provide training for different job roles, and that are looking for a way to adopt immersive learning that offers a significant level of utility across their organization.
Use cases for off-the-shelf VR training content include, but are not limited to:
Some off-the-shelf VR content offerings come with built-in learner performance scoring and feedback. This removes the burden from L&D teams to design learning objectives and corresponding assessments, with the off-the-shelf VR learning modules tracking how learners apply specific skills, and tracking improvement for that skill application over time.
Learn more about skills insights and analytics for immersive learning content: Talespin Platform Dashboard
In this blog post on our off-the-shelf VR training content library we discussed several ways off-the-shelf content can be adopted:
The latter is what we want to focus on here. While we feel off-the-shelf content has plenty of benefits (hence this blog post), we also recognize it is not a panacea. That is why the ability to pair off-the-shelf immersive learning content with custom VR training is a critical benefit to discuss.
Off-the-shelf content libraries can be used to supplement existing custom VR training programs, or adopted as a foundation upon which custom content will be added later. For example, you may adopt an off-the-shelf VR content library and deploy it for employee onboarding—giving employees a well rounded training experience that covers common leadership and communication skills. Then you could create custom VR training content as the next step in their learning journey, honing in on specific skills and unique training use cases at your organization, such as teaching sales teams to sell specific product and service offerings in VR.
Or, if you already have deployed custom VR training at your organization, you could supplement your program by adding a pre-built content library. This will save you time and money as you do not have to create training for common use cases from scratch, and can spend your resources focused on developing custom content for the more unique training priorities and skills gaps you may have at your organization.
Now that we’ve covered some of the clear benefits of off-the-shelf immersive learning content, we feel it would be helpful to show some tangible examples of the types of learning modules you can find in off-the-shelf content library offerings.
For example, Talespin’s off-the-shelf content library has titles like:
“Virtual Leadership” is an example of an off-the-shelf VR learning content module
As discussed above, these learning modules were created by learning designers and SMEs, designed to help learners accomplish broadly applicable learning objectives, and created to address a broad range of training use cases for organizations. While they are just a few examples from a larger library, they demonstrate the types of broadly applicable training use cases off-the-shelf VR training content modules typically address.
With these benefits in mind, we’ve been building a growing off-the-shelf VR training content library at Talespin.
This library is not only built to offer our customers the benefits covered in this blog post, but also to accomplish additional goals that benefit learners, our customers, our partners, and the immersive learning industry as a whole.
When we first started building VR training content in an off-the-shelf format in 2019, such offerings were few and far between on the market. No-code VR content authoring tools were not yet a reality either.
This left organizations interested in adopting immersive learning facing costly and time consuming custom VR training content development efforts. First launched in 2020 with crisis leadership training modules and later expanded in 2021, our intention with our content library was to present the learning and development community with a new, easy to adopt immersive learning product.
“The workforce of the future needs prepared leaders with strong communication skills, who can learn and lead, creating a model for work that’s collaborative, inclusive, and productive. Talespin’s new immersive learning content and desktop streaming platform capabilities align with our mission to lower the barrier to entry for professional development, and to accelerate skill attainment and greater accessibility to advanced technology,” said Stephen Yadzinski, senior innovation officer, JFF.
In addition to being one of the first off-the-shelf content libraries available on the immersive learning product market, we also made all of the modules in the library available via desktop steaming. This facet of our off-the-shelf offering lowered the barrier to entry even further, allowing organizations to distribute content to laptops and desktop computers that employees likely already have access to.
Now customers ranging from Accenture to AIA to Tower Hill Insurance are using this library for a range of training use cases. We also have seen it utilized to teach high school aged learners employability skills thanks to SAP and JFF’s “Skill Immersion Lab.” These examples of off-the-shelf content’s adoption exemplify the intended goal of our offering being accomplished, as dozens of organizations and hundreds of thousands of learners have now had the barrier to entry lowered for taking advantage of VR training content’s ROI.
While our primary goal with our content library was to open up immersive learning to more organizations and employees, it also serves the dual purpose of exemplifying the types of subject matter and use cases that can be addressed with VR content. The industry needed examples.
With the learning modules in our library serving as a starting point, organizations who want to create custom immersive content now have pre-existing modules that can serve as examples to follow, and inspiration for more use cases.
With factors like hybrid work and automation making leadership and communication skills more important than ever for the workforce, we also saw our off-the-shelf VR training content library as a way to build a learning product offering designed to help employees improve these skills.
Covering key skills like active listening, giving feedback, and building psychological safety, learning modules in our library help ensure employees and their leadership teams are able to practice soft skills in the most effective way possible.
Speaking of possible, pushing the limits of what can be done with immersive learning content is another way we leverage our content library.
Using our own custom VR content creation tool CoPilot Designer, we continually release content that tries new use cases, explores new formats for VR simulations, and pushes the boundaries of emotional realism.
For example, one of the latest additions to our library is “Where’d Everybody Go? - The Business Leaders’ Guide to the Decentralized Workforce.” The series features 30 learning modules that take place in the same virtual storyworld. With an overarching narrative connecting all of the off-the-shelf content, “Where’d Everybody Go?” demonstrates how we continually use our content library to explore new formats for immersive learning.
New off-the-shelf content like “Where’d Everybody Go? - The Business Leaders’ Guide to the Decentralized Workforce” demonstrates what is possible with immersive learning.
Yes, VR can be used for training. VR learning content in both off-the-shelf formats and custom VR training content are being adopted by organizations across industries ranging from insurance to healthcare, and for use cases such as VR leadership training and VR sales training.
Off-the-shelf learning content refers to premade or pre-packaged learning materials that are ready to use without the need for customization or further development. This content can include various types of materials, such as e-learning courses, training modules, videos, presentations, assessments, and simulations. Off-the-shelf VR learning content is another example.
Off-the-shelf learning content is designed to meet the general learning needs of a wide range of learners and organizations, making it a cost-effective and time-efficient solution for training and development. It is typically created by instructional designers and subject matter experts who have expertise in developing high-quality learning materials.
According to Training Industry, immersive learning provides individuals with an "interactive learning environment, either physically or virtually, to replicate possible scenarios or to teach particular skills or processes. Simulations, role play, and virtual learning environments can be considered immersive learning."
Accenture's definition states: “Immersive learning, an advanced form of active learning, uses technology to create fully simulated environments where learners interact with the experience—as close to the 'real world' as you can get.”
No matter the exact definition you find, the key characteristics of immersive learning include offering learners:
Custom immersive learning content can be created through VR application development efforts, or the use of content creation tools. As immersive learning has grown in popularity in recent years, solutions for the latter are now available on the market.
These tools make it possible to design and publish interactive immersive learning modules featuring 3D graphics, simulated role play with virtual humans, and virtual environments—all accomplished with drag and drop tools and no coding necessary.
Talespin's no code VR content creation tool CoPilot Designer is an example, enabling learning designers to create and deploy scenario-based VR learning experiences. Now companies are empowered to create customized training at scale at lower costs than ever before—which is particularly useful as individuals face growing skills gaps and the need for large scale workforce reskilling increases.
Off-the-shelf immersive learning content can be a valuable tool for organizations that want to enhance their training programs.
It is a cost-effective, quick, and easy way to provide high-quality training to employees. With its versatility and effectiveness, off-the-shelf immersive learning content can help companies achieve their learning objectives and improve employee performance. We hope you take the factors covered in this blog as you explore VR training and consider off-the-shelf content as a potential path toward adoption.