What is a learning simulation?

Learning simulations are a valuable tool for organizations looking to develop their teams. Simulations allow learners to advance their skills in a controlled environment with the use of fictitious scenarios. Using simulations increases the engagement of learners, and also promotes critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities. Simulations can be used in various types of industries, across all departments, in order to provide people with the opportunity to learn and practice a wide variety of skills. 

What is a simulation?

Simulations place learners in lifelike scenarios that often lack clear-cut answers and enable the opportunity to experience the outcomes of choices without invoking real-world consequences. Flight simulations are a classic example, in which pilots can react to various weather, takeoff, and landing challenges. They can discover the consequences of a broad range of actions without literally crashing a plane. The simulation is programmed to react to pilots’ mistakes, allowing them to learn the appropriate and safest solutions to challenges that they are faced with in flight. When they’re later flying real planes, they’re better equipped to make split-second decisions and arrive safely at their destinations. Flight simulations give pilots the opportunity to gain confidence, experience, and knowledge without the cost or possible negative consequences of a real flight. 

Simulations are also commonly known for being used in medical practice, as well as armed forces and police departments. However, they can be applied more broadly than these high-profile examples. The same techniques used to simulate a medical emergency or hostage crisis can also be adapted to interpersonal conflict, leadership skills, and just about any other situation that involves critical thinking and decision making. Sometimes referred to as experiential learning, simulations can take many forms, such as role-play, games, and team-based experiences. A simulation can be equally effective in an in-person learning environment or remote. 

When can a simulation be used?

Organizations have been using simulations as a part of their training programs for decades. They can be a great opportunity for team-based learning across every department. Learning organizations find simulations to be very fitting for developing interpersonal and customer-focused skills. They’re often applied to leadership development, management, sales and marketing, and customer service. While a simulation can be used to teach a consistent process, they’re commonly used for situations with a lot of gray area, lacking clear-cut answers. Simulations can also be very powerful when a decision may have both positive and negative consequences, and they can show the ways that one choice with multiple facets has a wide-ranging impact.

For example, in a customer-focused training simulation, learners can see how their body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions affect their outcomes in customer interactions. What happens when you greet a customer with a friendly smile and welcoming tone of voice, as opposed to folded arms and a negative tone of voice? Rather than telling people to smile and be welcoming, the simulation gives them the opportunity to explore the possibilities and come to the desired conclusion without any real-world consequences of alienated customers. While this example seems like a black-and-white decision, the power of the simulation is that the learners must deal with the consequences of their choices. Can they rescue the customer interaction after a rude greeting? Might there be situations where an over-the-top greeting is actually off-putting to the customer? Simulations enable explorations of many possibilities.

Why use a simulation?

Simulations are used for a variety of purposes and have many benefits. They promote the use of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, both independently and as a team. Simulations force learners to think deeper, have thoughtful conversations, and be open to listening to others’ ideas and points of view because there are often no clear answers. In many cases, learners will be faced with issues that directly concern themselves, but also involve those around them and the organization as a whole. Learners need to be able to think for themselves, but also to be open to working through issues that arise with the help of others. 

Simulations have become a popular learning tool for organizations due to the fact that they allow people to learn from experience without the risk of wasted resources or lost customers. Working through complicated scenarios reduces the need to spend time in real-life situations figuring it out on the spot and learning from (costly) mistakes. These learning experiences can be done in a controlled environment, custom-designed specifically for the organization, desired outcomes, and learning department. 

Our ExperienceBUILDER™ simulation learning platform enables an equally effective experience whether teams are co-located, remote, or both. ExperienceBUILDER sims are custom-built or tailored to suit the needs of the organization, and the platform itself meets the needs of a hybrid workforce by facilitating team collaboration from anywhere. Learners work together on teams to impact such metrics as resolving conflict, allocating resources, increasing engagement, and developing their staff. Multiple teams can go head-to-head, seeing their performance against one another on a live leaderboard.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss how simulations could benefit your organization and the way in which your learners develop their skills. Our custom-designed learning programs have been producing notable business results from some of the leading worldwide organizations for over a decade. Contact us today to schedule a meeting. 

Recent Posts on the Blueline Blog

· Areas of Expertise

5 strategies to upskill your workforce in 2022

Driven by technological advances, business model changes from the pandemic, and new attitudes towards work, many organizations now need to identify and train for skill gaps within their current workforces. To address this need, companies are pursuing ambitious talent agendas that involve reskilling and upskilling existing talent to support the future organization. What exactly is upskilling and why is it important in 2022?

bluelinesims

Empathy, employee engagement, employee retention, ExperienceBUILDER, hybrid learning, Leadership Development, Onboarding, upskill

· Align

Redefining career development in 2022

We’ve seen this uncertainty play out through the Great Resignation, leaving employers wondering how to deal with employee dissatisfaction and hold on to their workforces. What we know now is that promotions and positions aren’t the entirety of career development. Instead, it’s time for a mindset shift in how we evaluate career development and the impact it can have on employee satisfaction.

bluelinesims

Career Development, HR, Leadership, Leadership Development, simulation

· Innovation

Is the metaverse the next dimension of L&D?

The new world of work is here, and organizations are exploring how to engage a new workforce and improve employee experiences. As many businesses start implementing social and learning interactions in virtual environments, mentions of the metaverse are entering the conversation. Is the metaverse the next dimension for L&D? Although it could hold great potential, the answer is that we don’t quite know enough yet.

bluelinesims

Capabilities, metaverse, Training, virtual reality

· Simulations

The problem with PowerPoint-based training 

The new world of work necessitates remote learning. But with minimal facilitator training and the limitations of synchronous virtual course design resources and tools, training can feel impersonal and learners isolated. As a result, its effectiveness is greatly diminished. With virtual and hybrid work, it’s time for trainers to provide immersive development experiences.

bluelinesims

blueline simulations, hybrid learning, hybrid training, hybrid work, Mobile Accessible eLearning

· Innovation in Learning

Can VR develop soft skills in a meaningful way?

Developing soft skills has become more important than ever in a hybrid environment. According to Harvard Business Review, 59% of hiring managers and 89% of executives surveyed reported having difficulty recruiting candidates with the requisite soft skills. One of the ways businesses are helping their people develop these vital skills is by using VR.

bluelinesims

Capabilities, hybrid learning, hybrid work, Mobile Accessible eLearning, soft skills, virtual reality, VR

Tel. 813.269.7467 Ext. 212 | 218 E. Bearss Ave. | Suite 419 | Tampa, FL 33613
All rights reserved. Explore Blueline Simulations | Privacy Policy