7 Smart Ways to Design Successful Business Training Simulations

Designing Digitally


business simulation training

Simulations have been around for a long time. They were originally used in three main industries--the military, medicine, and aviation. These three have in common the risk of serious consequences, if a mistake is made.

Business simulation is different, but no less valuable. The lack of risk allows learners the freedom to try, fail, and try again. A well-designed business simulation is highly effective for preparing employees for their work. A poorly-designed simulation will do nothing more than distract and confuse learners, keeping them from connecting the dots between simulated activity and real-life application. The quality of design can make or break the outcome.

Smart simulation design

A simulation is only as good as its design. Here are some tips for creating successful simulations:

  • Learn the audience. Find out what their strengths are, what their knowledge level is, and their current masterly level. Create the characters and stories that are a part of the simulation with these facts in mind. Use the knowledge obtained about the target audience to personify their needs. Doing this makes the simulation much more relevant to the learners.

  • Put learning objectives at the top of the list. Before it’s time for all of the fun stuff, it’s important to establish what the learning goals are and to keep them at the forefront throughout the entire process. The educational goals of the activity should always be clear to the learner.

  • Make it engaging. A quality simulation will be visually attention-grabbing. It’s even a good idea to throw in some humor, but don’t go overboard or the learners may lose focus and miss the learning content. It’s important to find a happy medium where employees are entertained enough to stay focused, but not overwhelmed with unnecessary fluff.

  • Involve some conflict. A simulation that is too easy won’t be effective. Remember that the purpose is to prepare employees for what they will face in the real world and it’s far from free of conflict. Require them to mediate between two characters or place another challenge in their path to overcome. Make it realistic but not impossible.

  • Use story elements while still mirroring real-world experiences. A story can play to the learner’s emotions which can cause them to be more invested and engaged in the activity. Keep it rooted in real scenarios so that they learn the proper context for applying the skills they are learning. 

  • Make it interactive. Games, videos, and pictures are all elements that can be included to add value to the experience. Remember that the more engaged a learner is, the more information they will retain and be able to apply to an actual situation.

  • Create a suitable way to assess learners. Feedback is an important part of the learning process. Make sure the feedback they’re getting is helpful and can be used to inform their decisions going forward. The employees should be able to take what they have learned and successfully apply it to a situation.

Creating an effective simulation requires some planning and thought about the best strategies to achieve the goal, which is an activity that is a true learning experience.

Designing Digitally, Inc. is an experienced, award-winning provider of eLearning solutions. Their design experience can assist your organization to engage learners, increase productivity, and have a positive impact on the bottom line. Contact them today to learn how you can incorporate a successful simulation experience into your training program.