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Emory University Partners with Moth&Flame on Virtual Training Library

Emory University's Goizueta Business School and virtual reality (VR) communication company Moth&Flame VR have partnered to develop a VR training library for students and professionals to work on team-building skills.

The library, "Difficult Team Conversations," is authored by Jill Perry-Smith, organization and management professor at Emory. Designed to help learners facing challenges with workplace colleagues, the training scenarios focus on building conversational and conflict resolution skills. Learners can access the immersive conversations via VR headsets and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

The company said its hyperrealistic, interactive VR "learn by doing" format fosters "behavioral change through emotional connection."

Library objectives include developing the ability to:

  • Practice direct communication to address issues and resolve them;
  • Handle conflicts in a respectful manner without "cushioning, sandwiching, or assigning attributes to other parties";
  • Address personality conflict issues by using such approaches as team-focused values and straightforwardness;
  • Identify and resolve ineffective or harmful team dynamics;
  • Identify and understand the difference between professional and personal ethics;
  • Use constructive methods to manage conflict; and
  • Employ empathy and directness in conversation to build team cohesion.

Several topics will be included in the library, and learners can practice skills with support and safety, the company said, to gain confidence and develop the ability to solve problems.

The VR experiences are powered by AI and natural language processing on the company's PromiseVR and READY VR platforms.

"Throughout our creative work with Emory University, I knew this would be a high-impact learning library with such practical conversations to practice," said Moth&Flame CEO Kevin Cornish. "We believe that this library will provide learners with the tools they need to succeed as a member of a professional team."

"We are excited to be partnering with Moth+Flame to launch such a unique learning tool for our students," said Perry-Smith. "We are confident that this library will help learners at any level of their career develop the skills they need to navigate challenging conversations and succeed professionally."

The business school said it will make the VR library content available to other universities and professionals as well.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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