Training simulations are virtual lessons which are meant to teach employees something, have them try out their skills and perform actions in a setting that resembles real life. This is where they can make mistakes, work on them, and learn how to do something right through experience.
These are interactive settings that mimic situations that can happen in the real world, including various obstacles that employees can encounter. The result of these training simulations is that employees will learn how to cope with the everyday pressure they will feel on their jobs and get prepared for what awaits them.
However, in many cases, simulations are misunderstood and approached in a wrong way. Creating a training simulation is not an easy task, and a lot of people lose track of what their goal is. Here are some of the most important elements you must include in your training simulation to make sure that its purpose is fulfilled.
Include resource links
Some employees might have doubts in their mind about certain things even when they have finished their training simulations. This is why they will need some additional information so that they can complete their learning experience. In this case, the best solution is to add valuable resource links that will fill in the knowledge gaps.
These links can lead to different sources of information; for example, you can provide articles, videos, or podcasts. Simply put, give your employees the option to complement their knowledge through a medium they prefer. People that participate in training simulations will be able to access these links whenever they have the time.
Additionally, they can look to improve the areas in which their performance is falling behind, and this is how they will save time and learn what they are missing quickly.
Make the training simulation interactive
It is important that the employees taking part in your training simulation are engaged. When learners are engaged, they will be better at comprehending the training session and learning what they are supposed to. This is why you should make sure to create a training simulation that is interactive.
Instead of implementing traditional info screens that can be very boring, work on creating some activities that are entertaining for the people taking your training simulation. This means adding images, videos, games, quizzes, and so on. Any interactive element which has the power to help participants practice important procedures is good.
When employees are involved in an interactive training session, they will not feel like they are wasting time as the whole experience will be fun for them. This is very important when it comes to learning; if the learner is not engaged, he or she will have a tough time focusing on what’s in front of them and they will not be able to retain their knowledge.
Create a realistic environment
The surroundings of a virtual training simulation can play an important role and impact the way learners act, think, and behave. When you sum all of this together, it becomes clear that the way employees learn can be deeply affected by their surroundings. A good online training simulation created in an online learning management system (LMS) needs to have a realistic environment so that the training content can be put into the right context.
For example, if an employee needs to go to multiple locations to finish a certain task and make judgments along the way, the environment can tell him/her a lot and make the whole session more believable. When there is a realistic setting surrounding them, people will find it easier to find their way and make the right decision.
Additionally, realistic environments can also make participants forget that they are in a training simulation and help them immerse themselves and focus on the task ahead completely. This is how they will get the most out of their training session.
Include obstacles and challenges from the real-world
As we mentioned earlier on several occasions, training simulations need to be as realistic as possible, and it all starts with the problem that is presented to the participants. If the problem itself isn’t realistic, engaging learners and making training simulation believable will be quite difficult.
The focus of your training simulation should be on a particular problem that you would want your employees to be able to overcome. This will create a realistic experience, engaging them during the learning session, while at the same time learning practical things that they might be able to use in the real world later on.
Still, the problem of determining which obstacles you need to include in your training simulation remains. This is why you must take the time to do surveys, assessments, and observations so that you learn where your employees are lacking in their performance. You can also create focus groups and talk directly to your employees to see what they have to say.
Most of the tasks that are work-related involve some software solutions, tools, or some other resources. An online training simulation has the power to facilitate application, and this is what is one of the greatest benefits of these training sessions. This means that you will have to implement all of the important materials and tools to make the experience realistic for the participants.
For example, if a service technician uses a screwdriver to remove the case from a hard drive, then you will have to include one in your online training simulation. No matter what kind of situation you are simulating, you need to account for every single step and make sure that the whole process goes exactly like in the real world.
This means that, if a participant misses a step, the whole thing will fall apart, like in the real world. Make sure that all the consequences are included in the simulation, mimicking the real-world, and that the same tools need to be used as well.
These are the essential elements for creating a good online training simulation. Without these things, your simulation won’t achieve its goal of teaching someone how to do something better in a practical way. Make sure that you include these elements before adding other things that might enhance your simulation.
About the Author:
Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs.