Learning simulations. Serious Games. eLearning. Digital Learning. These words seem common nowadays, right? This might be the case if you are the training manager of a digitally driven company. However, for some CEOs, the concepts listed above are inappropriate to a proper learning organization. Are you a training manager yourself? Do you have to fight with your boss every day so that he accepts to use learning simulations within your overall training strategy? Well, if you are in that case, keep reading. In this article, we will give you 5 tips to convince your boss that setting up learning simulations is definitely the right thing to do.
With These 5 Tips, Your Boss Will Love Learning Simulations
First of all, what is a learning simulation? Indeed, if you do not know what it is, you will have an hard time convincing your boss that it is a good thing for the company.
Simply put, a learning simulation is an experience designed to help learners develop skills. This can be a combination of entertainment elements, modeling elements, and instructional elements.
Basically, learning simulations fall into 2 categories:
- Serious games, that could follow the entertainment model of a SimCity.
- Educational simulations, that follow the rigor and fidelity of flight simulators.
You might be wondering «Entertainment, modeling, and instructional elements? We do not have web designers in our team, and my boss did not plan to hire people».
In some cases, yes, you will need to design the graphical environments of your learning simulations by yourself. Fortunately, there are authoring tools on the market place, such as ITyStudio, that already have thought about this issue. That is the reason why with this software you will have access to more than 40 ready-made environments, both in 2D and 3D, as well as a diversified library of characters. All you have to do is selecting the elements you want to include in your learning simulations, and you are good to go.
Here are some examples of environments:
In this article, we are going to give you 5 tips to convince your boss to use learning simulations in your organization.
1. Tell your boss learning simulations save money.
What a nice topic to start with: Money. Chances are, if you still do not use learning simulations in your pedagogical structure, you do classroom trainings. Now, think about that. How much does your boss spend when planing such trainings sessions?
First, when learners train, they are not working. Meaning that they are not providing productive work. Sure, they are improving their skills, given that they listen to the course, but there are no direct ROI (Return On Investment) for your boss. In addition, when classroom trainings happen far from your workplace, you have to organize the logistic aspect: Travels, restaurants, hotels… This both cost you energy and money. What if you used learning simulations instead? No more trainers to pay. No more travels. No more restaurants. No more hotels.
The only real cost might be the price of your authoring tool. And, of course, the one time commitment of training managers, to create your learning simulation. Once it is done, it is plug and play. You learners can enjoy the training module as many time as they want, whenever they want. And the best of all: This is an autopilot process. You do not have to touch anything to keep this going.
2. Tell your boss learning simulations are flexible.
Another advantage of learning simulations is their flexibility. Indeed, you can deploy the training simulation that you want, to the audience that you want, and get very precise with it.
Did you already attend a classroom training, or a corporate seminar, which was about a subject you did not care about? If the answer is yes, do not worry, you are not the only one. The reason is, organizations do not have the choice when it comes to classroom training. If you decide to gather a hundred people, chances are they will not all have the same skills and interests. However, as the company cannot afford to create specific classroom trainings, related to the particular topic you are interested in, they have to treat everything in one day. This is not an optimized approach, right? With learning simulations, your boss will not have this kind of issue anymore. You can create as many interactive learning modules as you want, about as many topics as you want. Thus, both learners and your boss will spend their time more efficiently. This will enable learners to train on relevant topic, related to their position in the company and skills.
Moreover, you or your boss will gain time as well, because he will be able to focus on the relevant skills to improve, for every single employee. It is a win-win situation.
3. Tell your boss learning simulations enhance performance.
Even if this point is closely linked with the previous one, it is still important. As discussed before, classical training might be too broad in some cases, covering a variety of professional skills. But, in the end, only few of them are relevant for every single learner attending the training. This phenomenon is counter-productive. Why? Well, first of all, when you cover a topic irrelevant to the learners’ need, it is a huge waste of energy, for both trainers and learners. Trainers are wasting their time, trying to share something that their audience is not interested in. Consequently, this is a painful moment. On the other side, learners, because they do not see the point of this training, will not really listen and engage in it. This might sound strange, but still, it is true. What is the point of talking about management skills to a sales rep on the field? Nevertheless, once again, learning simulations can solve this problem. Imagine that, instead of having a theoretical training about a topic they do not have interest in, they can apply a knowledge relevant to their daily situations, within their work environment.
Well, serious games make it possible. As explained in the introduction, some authoring tools, such as ITyStudio, allow you to set up 2D and 3D environments that are ready-made. Doing so will make your training module feel more real to the learners. Another important factor is the characters of your serious game. Indeed, if you want your learners to engage, you have to put in place well-rounded characters. By doing so, you will ensure that the attendees will identify themselves with the characters.
You will find below examples, just to give you an idea of what characters could look like:
In a nutshell, by enabling employees to apply their knowledge via learning simulations, they will be more engaged, and retain more information. Your boss will be pleased, because it will lead to better results, enhancing the learners’ skills and performance.
4. Tell your boss learning simulations save time.
Even if your boss is hard to convince and stubborn, he will surely agree about this statement: Training is time consuming. And time is money. That is the reason why this section might interest your boss as well. Think about it. Think about all the time spent for a single training. A classroom training. Trainers have to prepare their sessions. Learners have to leave their workstation during the period of training. Given that the session happens in the headquarter of the company, you have to take into account the travel time of people reaching this place. And the worst part: Classroom training have to be very efficient. Because, if trainers provided bad learning content, or if the attendees were not that focused, all this time spent, was actually spent for nothing. Unfortunately, there are no «replay buttons». Once the training is past, it is gone forever. The only way to make it happen again is to schedule a new training session. Painful process, right?
What if there was a way to skip all of this? What if there was a way to provide quality learning to your employees, without even needing the physical presence of a trainer? Well, this is what learning simulations are all about. With this kind of training, all you have to do is a one-time commitment. Think about the pedagogical goals of your modules, scenarios, environments, characters. But here is the point: Once your training module is ready, it is over. Trainers do not have to work on it anymore. Learners can use it again and again and again, wherever they might be, anytime.
5. Tell your boss learning simulations are accountable.
Last but not least: Learning simulations provide you with great figures. Thanks to this, your boss or trainers can get to know learners more than ever before. In a classroom training, it is hard to identify whether or not attendees are retaining information and improving their skills. The best you can do is looking at them to check if they are listening, and maybe insert a quiz at the end of the session to assess their knowledge. However, two weeks after the training, chances are that learners already forgot a 80% of what they learnt, and you have no way to measure it. For your boss, this is a very important point. He wants to have accurate figures on his Return On Investment. And classroom learning cannot provide him this kind of figures.
That is when learning simulations come into play. Authoring tools on the market allow you to export your serious games into your Learning Management System. This process will enable you to have accurate numbers on how well employees are performing on the training. The best thing is that is it a long term process. You will be able to assess learners today, but also in 6 months. These figures will be your best allies when it comes to decision making. You will see exactly where employees are doing great, as well as the areas of improvement.
Now, It’s Time To Take Action: Create Your First Learning Simulations For Free!
Hopefully, this article gave you an insight on how to convince your boss to use learning simulations in your training strategy.
As you have seen, there are only pros to this solution. It will save you time and money. Enhance your learners performance. And, most importantly, provide your boss with accurate figures on the situation, to have a clear vision on his Return On Investment, as well as the areas of improvement of your learners. If you want to go to the next level, and start creating one on your own, you should have a look at ITyStudio, an authoring tool that will enable you to create your own interactive learning content.
You will not get overwhelmed by all the technical stuff, as everything related to web design is already done for you, and the pedagogical structure can be easily laid out through right click and / or our drag and drop system.
The most beautiful part is the outcome: Learners do love interactivity, and you will be able to offer them plenty of it!
Moreover, you will see that your results will be better as well.
Give it a try! Start your 30 day Free Trial here!