Today’s LMS platforms present many ways to educate an audience. This is especially true when it comes to employee training. Having skilled workers who are experts in their fields is essential to becoming an industry leader. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your training program contains the tools needed to get your teams up to speed.
Scenario-based eLearning is considered a guided discovery method. These methods have been proven to be more effective than non-guided discovery learning. They keep the trainee focused on goals while providing the structure needed to work through the lesson.
Traditional instruction isn’t going away, but it has taken a back seat to other more advanced methods in recent years. Scenario-based learning is more engaging and motivating than traditional techniques. It also helps trainees work efficiently, allowing them to move from novice to expert sooner.
A study conducted by the National Training Laboratory found that knowledge retention increased when methods that involve learning by doing are used.
For a business, being able to grow a team of experts in less time is a major advantage.
What is Scenario-Based eLearning?
If you are unfamiliar with scenario-based eLearning, now is the time to get acquainted. Sometimes referred to as “SBL,” this strategy takes an active approach to learning. Real life situations are applied, giving the trainee a more realistic and authentic experience in a setting where they cannot cause significant loss or damage.
Scenario-based learning activities include things like mock interactions. For example, a company training its customer service agents may create a scenario that involves talking with a customer who has a problem. Branching options can be included to give learners choices that push them to consider their responses carefully.
This gives the trainee the chance to demonstrate their abilities or learn from mistakes with follow-up tips, information, or discussion. Employees can hone their skills before they are put into a job role where they can affect customer satisfaction, productivity, and profits.
The Benefits of Using Scenario-Based eLearning
Scenario-based eLearning benefits the learner, trainers, and the company. Why should you consider implementing these methods in your training program?
- Learners Have the Opportunity to Fail Safely
Failure is a part of learning. Unfortunately, a new hire failing on the job can be expensive for a business. Scenario-based learning allows trainees to fail safely. There’s no risk while they navigate a non-linear interaction or activity.
Practice is the best way to improve. Scenarios allow the learner to practice and build confidence that will help them while on the job. When an incorrect response is given, it turns into a learning opportunity with no negative repercussions. It also gives the learner a chance to think and reflect on their response and how they could have done better.
- Experience the Effects of Decisions in Real Time
The decisions that your employees make each day have an impact on your business. Scenario-based eLearning allows workers to see the effects of their decisions from start to finish. They can give a response and watch the situation play out, all the way through to potential consequences.
This gives the learner a better perspective on how to handle interactions or requests and how their decisions can affect themselves, customers, and coworkers.
- Triggers the Brain’s Memory Function
Text on a page is easy to forget. Scenarios can be used in different ways to create a more memorable experience for the learner. When they are “in” the situation, they will be more likely to recall their training or previous practice sessions. There is a powerful connection between the scenario experience and our memories.
- Encourages Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Trainees have to think about their responses and come up with solutions. This boosts problem-solving and critical thinking skills. The better their skills become the quicker employees will be to respond to questions or come up with effective solutions.
- Provides an Authentic Experience for the Learner
Scenario-based eLearning is meant to make the learner feel like they are really in the situation. This creates an authentic experience that’s more memorable and adds value to training. Employees who work through these activities will be more capable when they are put on the sales floor, on the phone, or at their workstation.
- Engages Learners More Than Less-Interactive Methods
When we find something interesting, we are more likely to pay attention and follow through. That rule applies to learning. If you want to maximize the value of your training program, then you must care about engagement. Scenario-based eLearning has been proven to be more engaging compared to traditional methods.
Getting Started with Scenario-Based eLearning
Understanding the value of scenario-based eLearning is only the first step. Now, you have to figure out how to add it to your training program. This is best done with the participation of your trainers and subject matter experts. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Know the Goals of Each Training Session
Scenario-based eLearning uses goals heavily. If you don’t know what the objective is, then it will be difficult to create effective material for the scenario. Each session or activity should focus on one objective. This streamlines the process and prevents overload. A person who is overloaded will become stressed and is less likely to remember the material or be successful.
- Stay Focused on the Learner
The learner should be the focus while developing your scenario-based training content. Think about how they will interpret the information or activity and how they may respond. Consider obstacles and make sure they work through the content in a logical order.
Using the customer service example mentioned previously, you should begin with scenarios featuring simpler, more common requests before moving on to complex inquiries.
- Make the Experience Interactive
Interaction is key to maximum knowledge retention and engagement. Use elements that immerse the trainee. This could include a simulated environment, avatars, or something that feels real, like sending an email or pulling a lever on a machine.
- Optimize Training with Storytelling
Your scenario-based training needs to use storytelling or a narrative to be effective. This puts the learner into the situation for a more authentic experience. It can also boost engagement and immersion. When using a narrative, you should use three acts or phases including an introduction, challenge, and resolution.
- Use Realistic Scenarios and Problems
The scenarios you create should be as close to real life as possible. Present a real problem that the learner must solve. This will better prepare them for the day-to-day demands they will likely face when they are on the job.
- Test Drive New Training and Adapt
The perfect training program takes time to build. Test drive your scenario-based eLearning and track results. Look for areas that could use improvement and be ready to adapt. This is especially important for businesses in demanding or dynamic industries where new developments happen often. Your training should reflect those changes to better prepare workers for what they will face.
Scenario-Based eLearning and Your LMS
Your LMS should provide the tools you need to build and monitor your scenario-based training activities. Visit LMS.org now to read reviews that find out which platforms provide the tools you need to get the most out of this high-value training method.