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Think back to when you were a teenager, focused on getting your driver’s license for the first time. You’ve studied hard - you’ve read the textbooks provided to you, and you’ve watched your parents behind the wheel for years. You ace the written test, but when you get in the driver’s seat, it’s a whole different story. You’re unfamiliar with the surroundings and your reaction time just isn’t what you thought it would be.
Now, imagine if your training included some type of simulation tool. Imagine that you could get behind the wheel in a simulated setting, with the visual and audio eerily realistically similar to that on the road.
Would simulation training better prepare you to pass the actual driving test? Would you feel more comfortable the first time you left your driveway, with your parent beside you, ready to hit the road for the first time?
This is exactly why games and simulation are important to training of all types, the same lessons can be applied to your business.
Simulated training with a game-like setting or atmosphere refers to an interactive setting that integrates audio, visual and special effects to create realistic scenarios or situations. The concept is that by experiencing simulated, yet real-life situations, users will become more engaged and think through challenges and opportunities more thoughtfully. They will practice in a non-threatening setting and will then apply their learning into their daily work activities.
65% of the population are visual learners, which means that we get significantly more out of learning through the senses than we do with text and exams exclusively. Plus, it’s been proven that simulations are more engaging for students; in fact, because simulations allow students to make connections with everyday life experiences, they are more likely to experience the benefits of memory recollection and overall engagement.
Games and simulation are used in a wide variety of industries and verticals - not just eLearning. For example, airlines require pilots to log simulator hours and the Pentagon simulates potential conflicts, all in an effort to continue learning and gain insight into how users would and could react in various situations.
The same can be said for business and corporate training programs. For example, if your business is running a training program around respect or diversity in the workplace, your users might respond differently - and learn more effectively - if they used a simulated training setting instead of responding to series of questions on the screen. Case studies and role-playing scenarios can be utilized that takes emotion and care into consideration, and requires critical thinking skills, instead of simply relying on text that is read from a screen.
So, if you’re convinced that games and simulation will improve training outcomes for your business, how can you actually apply it to your existing training programs?
The first step, of course, is to get your Leadership or Executive Team on board with your strategy and concept. Develop your strategy behind incorporating games and simulation, and make a clear business use case for the return on investment (ROI) you will demonstrate. For example, by investing in simulation, will you thereby reduce the human hours needed to spend with each employee, taking them through training programs or modules? Will you reduce the time needed for on-boarding of new employees? Will you have the ability to launch more training programs every year, because you and your training department is no longer tied up with physically teaching your employees about new process or company guidelines? Can you show how games and simulation will reduce errors and accidents in the workplace? Can you tie the training objectives to the needs of the business and show how approaching training differently will positively impact production and profitability? If you are able to accomplish these goals, then you will be able to secure executive support for your initiative.
The second step is to work with a partner that you can trust. At Designing Digitally, we’ve created and implemented a multitude of games and simulation training programs for far too many companies to count. We will work with you and your training team to create and launch a simulation training program that will impact your employees in a way that your Executive Team has yet to see.
The third step is to roll-out your program with your company, after it has been tested thoroughly. From here, you’ll begin to reap the benefits!
As you’re constantly optimizing your training strategy and goals, consider the use of games and simulation for your business. Training simulations are here - and they’re here to stay - which means that you and your team should weigh the benefits that this new frontier presents for your company. Implementing games and simulation will ensure your company has a competitive advantage.