IntroductionWhen your colleagues can see the relevance of any learning intervention they are more likely to ‘buy-in’ to the process, engage more, retain more. All of this vastly increases the scope for creating business impact. The learning method plays a big role in building this relevance and helping them retain their learning.Computerized simulations can comprehensively re-create the performance context of your colleagues, afford spaced learning and repetition and even challenge them to face next-level challenges. Here are some inherent advantage computerized simulations bring to the table when executed well.
- It's all about 'relevance' Computerized simulations stand apart because they can be the most effective at re-presenting the real-world market challenges. From capturing team dynamics, addressing the industry-specific business context - competitors, R&D, and marketing, etc. All of these factors can be accounted for in a computerized simulation. Once participants see the realities of their performance context reflected in the simulation they are much more likely to buy-in to the process and engage more actively. Like with all solutions, the experience, expertise, and the methodology of the vendors you choose will play a part in determining the extent of the impact it will have. However, this ability of being able to extensively re-create specific business context makes computerized simulations build more relevance and be more comprehensive.
- Creating ownership through participation driven learningVirtual simulations allow learners to learn by doing. Individual participants take up specific roles and can take decisions and execute plans in a safe digital environment. The simulation analyzes the results and provides feedback to participants in real-time. Combine this with the high degree of relevance and computerized simulations ensure that the learning experience begins with the involvement and ‘buy-in’ of the learners. After all, it is their decisions and actions in the virtual world the kicks off the learning process.
- Connect performance with resultsAt this point, you may ask ‘why would learners now identify the gaps in their decision making or execution when they could not do so at work? This is a fair question. Learners don’t immediately identify gaps. That is the job of expert facilitators. However, simulation plays a big part in getting to that point.Once learners take their decisions, the simulation churns out results in real-time. These results are the direct outcomes of the decisions and inputs of the participants. This ownership over the decisions and actions leads them to own the results as well. The results trigger questions about decisions and processes that led to the results. At this point, expert facilitators also help connect the results in the simulation to the real-world business challenges of the participants. They walk them through their decisions, discuss cause-effect relationships between the participants' decisions and the results, and introduce new concepts. This helps embed the learning.
- Build empathy in the business contextLearners take on different roles within the simulation. These roles can be from other functions or a senior role in their own function. This broadens their frame of reference, and brings into focus the importance of other functions and roles. The digital age is all about delivering great experiences. This cannot be done without collaboration and communication at every stage of the process. Learners understand the decisions that other functions and roles have to take. They also have to interact with other functions and roles, work through seemingly competing interests, find solutions, and successfully execute tasks.Additionally, participants also learn the perspective of clients. In this way the simulation process enables cooperation and collaboration for greater results by building empathy in their business context.
- Apply the learning and validate immediatelyParticipants can gain confidence in their learning by applying it in the following simulation rounds during the workshop itself. These multiple simulation rounds give learners the chance to course correct within the virtual world of the simulation and have the confidence to translate the learning into result-oriented actions in their real life performance context as well.
- Spaced learning for greater retentionSimulations offer relevant and comprehensive challenges in a safe digital world that can be repeatedly experienced without negative repercussions. Spaced learning and repetition improve learning retention.
What Next? Build a road-map for future learning programs and needsYou may ask, ‘Okay, I’ve organized a simulation program, what next?’ All decisions and results are tracked in a simulation. The safe virtual world of simulations not only provides participants a comprehensive and effective learning environment but can also help you understand gaps that may still remain and plan future learning interventions accordingly.Final ThoughtsWith any great book it is not just about the genre but about the quality of the storytelling that will determine its success. The same goes for simulations too. Simulations as a learning tool brings some inherent advantages. However, these advantages can be nullified if your vendor only understands technology and not business or vice versa. Simulations are getting more complex and advanced because your business context is evolving and getting more complex. Ensure that you work with organizations who bring equal expertise in both learning technology as well as business.To learn more about industries we have worked in you can visit our Client Stories page. Or, get in touch with us at email@example.com see how we can design solutions for your business challenges.