5 ways to promote good workplace habits with eLearning simulations
The typical eLearning simulations in the workplace are similar to advanced video games. It is not aimed at commercial players, so it does not have that level of capacity and polish. (Commercial video games often have budgets that compete with blockbuster movies and direct-to-stream productions.) However, they do involve a lot of gaming capabilities, whether they’re serious games or icebreakers. How can you use these online training simulations to develop good work habits and eliminate the bad ones?
1. Keep the communication lines open
In any relationship – even a company – mutual communication is key. This goes beyond creating contact tools (though it helps). You want modules in your simulation that facilitate feedback. Users should have the ability to send text messages or emails to instructors in the middle of the session and ask for help. Or a pause button that allows them to revisit the relevant course content to refresh their knowledge. Many simulators record gameplay and allow students to review their rides and see where they went wrong. If they want some human feedback, use it. But in addition to offering the tools, you need to promote an open office environment so that they are comfortable asking questions. You can also consider a built-in course guide, which provides tips during the session or directs them to relevant support resources.
Let them learn from their mistakes
Adult students do not feel well with spoon-feeding, so do not give help unless requested to do so. Another pet is to point out their flaws and make them feel highlighted. They need to know about gaps in a more subtle way that encourages them to improve rather than alienate them. Program your training simulation for automatic feedback and debriefing. This way, your interns can get an overview without your interference or supervision. You can also automate the feedback itself, but make it optional. For example, when making a particular move within the simulation, offer closed pop-ups. Students can click on them if they want guidance / assessment. Something like “Using this device makes it easier to complete your task.” Or, “This road leads to a dead end … do you want to try an alternative road?” They only open if the trainees want it. This way, students can make their own mistakes and then choose different choices the next time they play. These prompts are also useful when playing their turn again to see where they have messed up.
Push them to reflect on their performance
Set up your simulations at mandatory intervals in between. For example, they can repeat a simulation as many times as they want, but they can only do one a day. This guarantees downtime between simulations so that their newly acquired knowledge can penetrate. You can also initiate an “exit conversation” after each round. Use leading questions. Analytics will show you the exact places where they fought and how. But your interns’ questions will give you a window into their mindset and thought process. You can measure what they think and how they feel. It shows that you know what you need to do to achieve your behavior change goals. Another way to facilitate reflection is to invite them to join your training group on social media to share their experiences. They can express their thoughts or concerns regarding their simulation performance. Then use the expertise of their peers to see hidden gaps.
Offer contextual practice sessions with real-world applications
In the nature of things, simulated experiences seem far removed from everyday life. There is an element of imagination and unreality. This helps in certain environments because they may experience complex, potentially risky office scenarios in a safe space. But sometimes interns need a more worldwide experience. You can achieve this by setting up the simulation inside a virtual copy of your office space. Or you can draw the skills they have learned and create a demo in real life. Blended learning systems do this really well. So for example, after several terrorist exercise simulations, arrange an offline. It could literally save a life. You should also incorporate realistic personas to expose them to clients / colleagues they find in the workplace.
5. Make resource recommendations and follow up
Usually, supplementary reading for the academically minded, the gifted students who complete their curriculum is far ahead of their classmates. It is not so easy to spot this trait in adult students. Unless their jobs are directly intellectual, they will likely “stupid” their book-smarts to fit in with office mates. In this case, metrics is your friend. Assess how quickly they completed the course, or which pages / chapters they drew. Now you have a clue about their progress. As well as whether the online training simulations are challenging enough to actually encourage behavior change. You can use heat maps and screen recorders to help identify problems. Develop additional materials to help them with these combat zones, and follow up carefully. You want to be sure that they used these resources and benefited from them. If not, you can find alternatives that connect them on a personal level and present the perfect level of difficulty.
Important tools for eLearning simulations
Online training is not just about teaching your staff new things. You want to change their perspectives and actions on a deeper level. But how can you use online training simulations to change employee behavior for the better? Offer communication tools, and more importantly, a secure, open environment that encourages honest feedback. Give students space to learn from their mistakes in a space without judgment. Provide space and guidance to assess oneself objectively, without guilt, shame or guilt. Create opportunities to apply their simulated knowledge in the real world. And do not forget a JIT library with resources and additional references. Make them easily accessible and follow up to measure their use … and usability.
What mistakes should you avoid to ensure that your online training simulations facilitate application in the real world and cause a positive change? This guide contains the biggest pitfalls to avoid, and tips for creating more meaningful eLearning simulations.