Simulation in e-learning is perhaps the most sought-after solution for the workplace as well as academic e-learning and it is not without reason. Simulation combines the power of experiential and immersive learning with “a risk free learning environment” so that learner learns, practices, makes mistakes, again learns till the time the performance improves.
There are many organizations which prefer to use simulations for training their employees and reap the benefits of implementing elearning simulations into their corporate learning strategies. With the technological advancements, building elearning simulations for various corporate training requirements is becoming less complex.
In this blog, let’s see some of the great benefits of using simulations in elearning. But before we start let’s revisit the fundamentals.
What are elearning simulations ?
E-learning simulations allow the learners to train and practice work procedure or routine in a virtually simulated learning environment. The simulated environment is built on multimedia graphics and other multimedia assets to imitate or look very close to the real working environment. It essentially involves “learning by doing”.
E-Learning simulations are dynamic, moving learning events in which you actually perform a job and experience the results just as if you were really there. If you want to know more about simulations and the steps involved in developing the simulations, you can read my blog here.
So let me now list down the top six benefits of simulations in elearning.
1.E-learning simulations can increase on the job performance
With elearning simulations, the learners get the confidence to explore the virtually build environment, without the fear of making the mistakes.
For example, you need to train your new workforce on the operation of the industrial gas pipeline which has several components that require expert guidance. A traditional classroom training is not always an option here as it requires hands-on practical knowledge too. Also, a real simulated training might not be a practically feasible option as only a single worker can be trained at a time by the instructor.
Here elearning simulation is the best-recommended ways to train the employees as the organization can build an exact simulated environment with the help of multimedia graphics, motion graphics that include both 2d and 3d and content that can mirror the real working conditions.
In the above example, the learner can experience a virtual working environment and can respond to various stimuli provided by the simulated e-learning environment. There is a qualitative leap that changes the way learners react and learn and that stimulates a wide range of both physiological and psychological learning accelerators that are hard-wired within us. These learning accelerators are sometimes intuitive and sometimes drawn from past experiences.
This helps the organization to train the workforce in one go and at the same time, the learners can explore the options without the fear of making any mistakes as it is a controlled environment. The learners also get the option of replaying the course, which helps in increasing the confidence of the learners and helps them to perform better when they are at the real working condition.
2. Elearning simulations can make the learning engaging and interactive
Simulations are very interactive and engaging as the learner starts feeling that they are doing it in real. The simulated learning modules are user centric and hence progresses through the action of the learners making it more engaging for the learners.
The learners learn through the stimuli provided in the elearning simulations. The included challenges and tasks are mostly the ones that the learners might face in the working environment. Most of these stimuli are relational by nature.
3 .Brings out the behaviour and reaction which leads to intuitive action
The entire design of simulation is based on the feature of events or tasks being related to each other. Simulations push the learners to (eventually) react in a learned but intuitive way to stimuli just as in the real work-world. Think of space shuttle pilots or R&D specialists or life saving crew who may have only seconds to make critical decisions that require significant knowledge and information. Their ability to integrate data and make a quick decision must be so well honed as to be “intuitive.” This intuition can be developed only through providing immediate feedback.
Perform a wrong action and you can see the immediate result on the screen. For example, in the airplane simulator coming down from the required altitude can create problems like the drop in cabin pressure etc. The immediate feedback in elearning simulations helps the learners to understand and learn from their mistakes and hone their intuition
4. Learning created can be applied immediately
By using simulations in learning, it gives employees the opportunity to practice and learn for ‘n’ number of times. While repeated practice can help the learners to retain and recall the learning topics, the simulation-based elearning can also help the learners with the application of the learning.
Elearning simulations are the best learning strategy where the learner can learn by doing things. For example, in a fire safety simulation training module, the learner can learn without the fear of making mistakes or getting hurt in a way and can be made to practice it again and again till he masters this task.
5. Elearning simulations can lead to successful outcomes
Life in the real world is an experience in discovering working and non-working models. Simulations compress these experiences into a situation that can be manipulated to produce maximum learning impact, without having to wade through many random events looking for one nugget of truth.
6. Elearning simulations can be combined with other elearning strategies
Using simulations in elearning is becoming increasingly popular among the organisations, and I am sure you might have seen the uses of simulations combined with various other strategies like scenarios based learning and branching scenarios etc and even gamification etc.
By combining with branching scenarios, elearning simulations even take the approach of personalised training for the learners.
Elearning simulations can act as a string platform here where a developer can actively use and explore other strategies to make effective elearning modules.