Simulation training: the evolution of experiential learning in the corporate world

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Thanks to widespread digital transformation, employee training has evolved dramatically over recent years, integrating new and innovative methods that take it far beyond the bounds of the traditional classroom. Simulation training is one of the most powerful of these methods, allowing employers to create programs that challenge their workers’ skills in a lifelike, controlled setting, across a wide array of industries. Are you eager to learn how this methodology can revolutionize your own training strategy? In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know!

Exploring the concept of simulation training

Simulation training (or simulation-based learning) is a training technique that uses technology to replicate real-world scenarios, with the aim of helping students to develop new skills and knowledge.

This method offers users a safe, immersive and realistic experience where they can rehearse situations, practice processes, make mistakes and, crucially, learn from them. It is a form of experiential learning which can be applied both to formal education and corporate training, to help employees develop skills and competencies while saving resources and minimizing risks.

How simulation training works

The method works by creating lifelike scenarios. Initially, simulation training was performed with physical models, for example in aviation, where flight simulators were little more than accurately recreated airplane cockpits. These allowed pilots to practice maneuvers and drill emergency situations. In other fields such as medicine, role-playing games were used to put specific skills to the test. For example, students themselves would act as patients in the grip of a medical emergency, while their colleagues would have to make a quick diagnosis.

With the arrival of more advanced technology, software-based simulations have been developed that can recreate complex situations on a screen, providing a truly virtual representation of real-life scenarios. Virtual and augmented reality have taken this type of learning one step further and, thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, today it’s even possible to offer fully personalized simulations that can adapt their level of difficulty to student needs.

Simple, focused techniques within simulation-based training – such as the use of linked scenes or interactive videos – are an excellent option to help develop skills in a company. These allow employees to navigate and explore different paths based on their decisions, reflecting real-life situations and providing immediate feedback.

 

The key advantages of simulation training

Integrating this methodology into a company’s training and development strategies offers a wide range of benefits, improving parameters such as engagement, knowledge retention, skill development and the quality of the learning experience:

Improved skill development

Simulation training is an ideal technique for building the specific skills and competencies employees need for jobs. These skills can range from highly technical, such as learning to manage entire projects with planning software, to lighter soft skills such as problem solving or decision making. The key is that practicing such skills in a controlled environment facilitates effective knowledge transfer to the workplace. Additionally, simulation training makes it possible to adjust training to provide adequate challenges for both beginners and experts.

Safe learning environments

In industries such as aviation and healthcare, where professionals cannot afford to make mistakes, this methodology offers a safe and controlled environment so that skills can be practiced without risking real-life consequences. In less intense fields of work, such as customer service or sales, it also allows students to experiment, explore potential strategies, practice decision-making and crisis management, and all without the risk of damaging the company or its reputation.

Enhanced knowledge retention and engagement

Simulation training has a particular advantage that makes it stand out over other learning models – its ability to capture student attention by drawing them into immersive experiences. Interactive simulations are typically more engaging than traditional training methods, and help to improve motivation and knowledge retention levels.

Real-time feedback

This type of learning provides students with quick, immediate feedback, allowing them to learn from mistakes in real time. The same feedback also gives companies the chance to adjust and improve their training strategies to achieve wider objectives.

Measurable results

Simulation-based training also helpfully allows learning outcomes to be measured. Tools such as linked scenarios, interactive videos, games and exercises make it possible to track and measure student performance in real time, providing accurate data on their progress.

Heightened learning experience

Simulation training allows for the creation of realistic scenarios, which makes learning more relevant and applicable to everyday responsibilities. Moreover, it can provide employees with a greater feeling of security by allowing them to rehearse situations that they are likely to face while working. Finally, thanks to the flexibility afforded by digital technology, students can access simulations from anywhere and at any time, learning at their own pace and convenience.

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Industries that benefit from simulation training

Simulation training has made a significant difference to a specific range of industries by providing safe, realistic and effective learning environments. Some of these industries include:

  • Health

This methodology is vital in the health industry for the training of doctors, nurses and other key professionals. Simulations allow trainers to construct complex clinical scenarios – such as surgeries, medical emergencies and diagnostic procedures – in a controlled environment without risk to actual patients. In this space, both students and qualified professionals can practice surgical techniques, administering treatment, and even decision making in critical situations. They can also practice effective communication techniques, to help them share sensitive information with patients.

  • Aviation

Aviation has long been one of the pioneering industries in the use of simulation training. Both pilots and cabin crew take advantage of advanced flight simulators that can accurately replicate flight conditions, from simple takeoffs and landings to emergency situations such as engine failures or adverse weather conditions. Naturally, such simulators allow pilots to practice complex maneuvers and safety procedures in a risk-free environment.

  • Military

In the military field, simulations allow soldiers and officers alike to prepare for a whole host of combat scenarios and tactical operations. In fact, military simulators are capable of replicating realistic combat environments, giving soldiers a chance to train in conditions that mimic enemy terrain, tactics and weather patterns. The ability to train in a virtual environment both reduces injuries and improves operational readiness, leading to greater effectiveness in the field.

  • Manufacture

Simulation-based training is used to improve efficiency and safety on production lines in the manufacturing industry . Employees can be trained in both the use of complex machinery and in the intricacies of production processes.

This type of training can assist with everything from programming and operating machines and robots, to overseeing automated systems and even implementing security protocols. Simulations allow employees to pick up and practice technical skills without interrupting the actual process of production, which is vital to maintaining company output and reducing workplace accidents.

  • Corporate training

Within the corporate sphere, simulation training is a powerful tool for developing technical and soft skills. Employees can take part in simulations that replicate specific business situations such as negotiations, conflict resolution, project management, and leadership. For example, branching scenario simulations help employees perceive the consequences of their decisions, while simultaneously receiving real-time feedback to enhance their overall work performance.

5 steps to integrate simulation training into your L&D strategy

Now that you know the benefits and applications of simulation-based learning, you won’t be surprised to discover how widely it is used in corporate training. However, if you wish to implement it successfully and attain the best training results, you’ll need to follow a series of key steps:

1. Identify your training objectives

The first step to integrating simulation training into your training strategy is to identify what your objectives will be. It’s essential to understand which skills and competencies you want to improve, and how these would contribute to the wider goals of the organization. For example, if your aim is to improve leadership skills, then you’ll first need to specify which elements of leadership you wish to focus on (i.e. decision making, team management or conflict resolution), and how you will address them through simulations.

2. Analyze training needs

Once objectives have been defined, then training needs should next be analyzed. This involves assessing employees’ current abilities, identifying skills gaps, and determining which issues you can effectively address through simulation training. In this article you can learn more about how to identify the training needs of your team.

3. Choose the right simulation tools

Based on your specific objectives and needs, you can now start to select the right simulation tools for your training. There are many technologies available today that you can choose to feature in your courses and training modules, including linked scenes, interactive videos, role-playing games and more.

4. Develop realistic scenarios and integrate them into your existing training programs

In order to take full advantage of the potential of simulation learning, you’ll need to develop and offer interactive activities that reflect the challenges your employees face in their work environment. The scenarios you devise should offer multiple paths and outcomes based on the user’s decisions.

Fortunately, today you can do all of this without requiring previous design or programming experience. With authoring tools such as isEazy Author, you can create interactive videos in just a few simple steps, adding in questions or complementary information wherever you want to reinforce ideas. You can also create branching scenarios through linked scenes with different levels, that help students discover the different stages within a process.You can even help them improve the decision-making process, or present a realistic simulation of prototypes and new applications, so your employees can get used to them through the training process.

 

5. Release and analyze your program

With your training program fully created, it’s time to launch. At this point, ensure that you involve all team members and make sure that they understand how to take part in the simulation experience. With the help of the program, you can collect data on employee participation not only through statistics like scores, attempts, and completion rates, but also through interviews and surveys. All of these methods will help you to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and identify any areas for improvement.

Remember that the success of this methodology does not depend merely on a single effort, but is rather a continuous process based on feedback, analysis, improvement and adjustment. This focus on the ongoing process will help you to ensure that content remains both effective and relevant to your organization’s wider objectives.

Implementing a simulation training strategy has never been easier, thanks to isEazy Author

Although simulation-based learning offers multiple benefits both to companies and professionals, we’ve seen that integrating it into your corporate training can be a challenge. But does it have to be? With isEazy Author, you can include a complete range of interactive resources in your e-learning courses, all designed to maximize the impact of your training.

isEazy Author lets you:

  • Create interactive videos: Transform your e-learning courses with videos that not only capture attention, but also make it easier to absorb and retain information.
  • Design dynamic roleplays: These mimic real-life situations through multimedia and interactive resources, allowing employees to practice and perfect their decision-making skills.
  • Offer immersive simulations: Linked scenes let your professionals experiment and learn from the consequences of their decisions.
  • Integrate storytelling: Harness powerful narratives to connect on an emotional level with your audience, and facilitate meaningful learning.

With isEazy Author, you can effortlessly create and edit your own training content. So don’t hesitate! Request a demo today and watch your employees develop critical skills faster and more effectively than ever before.

Frequently Asked Questions about simulation training

Simulation training is a training method that makes use of virtual or simulated environments to replicate real-life situations. It allows participants to hone their skills and make decisions in a safe and controlled environment. It works by immersing users into interactive scenarios which allow them to experience different results based on their individual actions, and receive immediate feedback to help them improve their performance.

Industries that benefit the most from simulation training include healthcare, aviation, military, manufacturing, emergency services, and corporate training. In all of these cases, simulation allows professionals to develop critical skills, practice complex procedures, and prepare for high-pressure situations without the risks typically encountered in real environments.

The effectiveness of simulation training is measured by evaluating several factors, including the participant’s performance in simulated scenarios, the competence with which they transfer their skills to real-life situations, and also their own feedback. Additionally, specific metrics such as response time, accuracy in carrying out tasks, and error reduction in the working environment can all be applied.

A successful simulation training program should include clear training objectives, realistic and relevant scenarios, appropriate and capable simulation tools, well-trained instructors, and evaluation mechanisms for collecting and analyzing feedback.

Yes, simulation training can be integrated effectively with other types of training, such as e-learning modules, in-person workshops and coaching sessions. This integration allows you to create a more complete and cohesive learning approach overall, where the simulations complement and reinforce the knowledge and skills picked up through other training methods.

Cristina Sánchez

CONTENT CREATED BY:

Cristina Sánchez

Digital PR Specialist at isEazy

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