By Margery Weinstein
In April 2010, Avanade began work with a vendor to build a dedicated virtual campus in Second Life to host virtual training, provide an alternative to expensive in-person training, and provide a global meeting place for Avanade employees spread across 24 countries. Within nine weeks, the campus was designed, developed, and released for pilot testing, and four weeks later achieved a positive ROI. The campus includes: a 50-seater auditorium; a 20-seater training center with five large breakout rooms; a student center for collaboration; interactive displays on the company, what it sells, how to learn, and fun learning activities.
During the pilot period, 300 Avanade employees created avatars and attended one or more of 17 one-hour presentations or one of the two-day training courses on project management or consulting skills. Everyone who attended was invited to complete an anonymous survey, and the results showed that:
Feedback from the campus training course evaluations showed that:
Each in-person course converted to the campus saves the company approximately $20,000, and the campus broke even within its first 12 weeks.
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