Learn the ABCs of Simulation Training

Slide…click…slide…click, repeat. Though these actions may sound like a tap dance routine, they are far from it. They are the repeated actions taken by eLearning audiences. Nine times out of ten, technology-based training material is presented in a linear fashion. The user is asked to review a slide of text, images, and/or video, and progress on to the next. Though passive linear learning has its place in teaching the fundamentals of a subject, it does little in the way of challenge.

As eLearning developers, we should all take a cue from the above mentioned dance analogy. When conveying processes and procedures, students learn best when presented with a combination of passive and active teaching techniques:

  1. Show the dance steps (present the fundamentals).
  2. Ask the student to attempt the steps on their own (audience applies newly acquired knowledge using an interactive scenario or procedural simulation).
  3. Repeat.

The concept is simple: teach then do—a training tactic that has proved immensely beneficial in sectors such as the medical world, where procedural proficiency and confidence is of the utmost importance.

Things to consider when conceptualizing eLearning simulations:

  1. Strive for realism.
    Do your best to mimic real-world procedures and scenarios. Active training tactics not grounded in reality will have little benefit for audiences.
  2. Inject consequences.
    Every action has a reaction. For this reason, it is beneficial for simulations to offer consequences. In the real-world, there is rarely the opportunity for a do-over. Employees must possess the knowledge to correct and deal with the outcome of an incorrect action. Branched simulations afford trainees with such an opportunity in a safe virtual environment.
  3. Challenge with choices.
    Whether a trainee is presented with a procedural challenge or scenario, they are faced with the all important task of decision-making. Embed realistic choices into the simulation to challenge the trainee and better prepare them for the real-world application of acquired knowledge.
  4. Choose the right developer.
    There is no getting around it: the development of a simulation is no easy feat and oftentimes demands the skill set of a multifaceted team. In your search for a simulation developer, look for full-service capabilities, including but not limited to, 3D modeling, animation, design, scriptwriting, video production, and programming capability.

Teach. Challenge. Succeed.

Contact DDA VMS today for more information on virtual simulations and eLearning development for all segments of business and all industries: 215-355-6442.