According to McKinsey, about half of in-person learning programs scheduled for the first half of 2020 in North America were postponed or canceled as a result of COVID-19 (the number was closer to 100% for parts of Asia and Europe). In addition, as of Aug. 5, only 57% of U.S. workers had participated in remote learning this year. For learning and development (L&D) professionals, 2020 was a sea change that required innovative new thinking to ensure employees were equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to perform their jobs well.

With this transition from in-person to remote training, virtual reality (VR) training has become an increasingly popular and more viable option. Adopting VR training is an exciting first step, but it’s important to not overlook the importance of effectively managing a VR strategy. Organizations already using VR training often find themselves asking some common questions, including:

    • What’s the best way to manage VR content?
    • How can we maximize the extended reality (XR) training experience while maintaining the power to manage it?
    • What impact has COVID-19 had on managing VR content?

From accessing headsets to tracking training metrics, managing VR content can be a challenge for L&D professionals. To top it off, COVID-19 has made matters more difficult, with employees working remotely and organizations restricting travel. The good news is that managing VR content can be easier with an extended reality system (XRS).

Expertly Manage VR Content With an XRS

Organizations can manage VR content in a variety of ways, but managing it with an XRS helps maximize VR training throughout the company. An XRS helps L&D professionals expertly manage XR training on a large scale, all from one platform. Usually cloud-based, an XRS operates on a network of remote servers rather than local servers or computers, eliminating the need to hand-load individual headsets or use on-site hardware. A high-quality XRS can deploy XR content to headsets, track completion of training activities and pull important training metrics.

Typically, you can install an XRS by downloading the software onto headsets and easily integrate it with your learning management system (LMS). The platform also enables you to host existing XR training and update content with in-house developers and enables learners to access content offline. With any management system, the investment will depend on your number of licenses. You’ll need to purchase a license for each device, but VR headsets are becoming more affordable. Many organizations have headsets that are used for multiple training programs, as they can be sanitized and shared across employees and locations.

With those basics in mind, here are four of the most effective ways to manage VR content with an XRS:

1. Versatile LMS Integration and Content Creation

Invest in an XRS that you can integrate with the LMS you use for training employees. This way, you’ll be able to use the XRS in a way that meets your organization’s needs and keeps career development paths intact. With an XRS, you can create content with in-house developers or bring in outside developers. Having the flexibility to choose who creates content and which content to use gives you control over the VR management process.

Furthermore, when an XRS is integrated with an LMS or another business intelligence system, it provides visibility into employees’ performance as they complete their training and development and support real business improvements.

2. Update Content

Updating VR content can be a daunting, time-consuming task, but an XRS eliminates the need to meet in person and manually update content. Instead, it can push updated VR content to VR headsets remotely, regardless of where employees are located and without requiring additional hardware or services. A major benefit of an XRS is that it can keep VR content updated as necessary throughout your program’s lifetime without requiring in-person meetings.

3. Assign Content With Precision

Being able to assign VR training modules, whether by location, user or device, is an important element of managing VR content. Instead of assigning content in person, a cloud-based XRS can assign content to any device or user around the world at any time. With the elimination of in-person assignments, an XRS makes delegating tasks more convenient, cost-effective and scalable. In addition, virtually assigning content frees up more time for learning professionals to analyze users’ performance and ensure that the program is meeting its goals.

4. Tracking Metrics and Return on Investment (ROI)

Capturing metrics from XR training has traditionally been cumbersome. Without an XRS, learning professionals have to manually record data from each session, which is neither efficient nor conducive to scaling. A good XRS can remove the manual work and provide insight into training through precise metrics by automatically collecting and publishing every aspect of a participant’s performance to an easy-to-read dashboard.

With an XRS, you can access key performance metrics (e.g., attempts, completions and objective completion) anywhere, with a computer dashboard, by downloading reports or connecting with Wi-Fi. Analyzing these metrics will help you design better training to meet participants’ needs and learning objectives.

Why Managing VR Content Is Important, Especially Now

As employees are now working differently, and in more locations, it’s no longer feasible to conduct training in one location. Effectively managing your VR content is key to ensuring that ROI remains high, learners are satisfied and the program continues to align with organizational goals. As organizations adjust to the switch from in-person to remote training, there’s never been a better time to maximize the value of VR programs with an XRS.