Developing a Learning Culture

Sticky Situations: Increasing Simulation Retention in Learners

What do you get when you combine an international luxury goods manufacturer and a workforce made up of employees who have various levels of compliancy training? In typical scenarios, the same training is applied to all employees; after all, no one is exempt from workplace ethics. But, when using simulation-based training, forcing all employees to experience the same module would be a huge mistake.

When using simulation-based training, you’re not guaranteed success. Sure, simulation training can be effective, engaging, and positive for training ROI, but if it’s not adaptive, it can also be a huge turn-off for more experienced learners. Find out how we addressed the issue of different levels of experience and how you can make your simulations stickier for your learners, too.

Been There, Done That

When building a new compliance training module for the brand, simulations were a must. Ethics and compliancy can come along with a lot of gray area. Contextual cues, body language and “what would you do?” scenarios are especially effective for learners who need to put their knowledge into action.

But when there’s a large range of knowledge among the learners, it’s not fair to apply the same experience to everyone. If you cater to lower-level learners, you risk losing those who already enjoy a firm grasp on the material. Cater only to high-level learners, and those who haven’t caught up could feel left out.

Adapting to Learners 

Adaptive simulations are always the best bet for better retention. When moving through the module, those learners who continually experience the simulations and are able to correctly choose the answer can speed through the course and skip to new, possibly unfamiliar chapters. Those learners who struggle with choosing the right answers may experience the simulation again, or experience the same type of simulations until they have a better grasp on the concept.

Adaptive simulations work because they – above all – respect the learner as an individual. When an organization has a huge range of understanding, from brand-new employees to those who’ve been there for years, it’s nearly impossible to apply the exact same training across the board. Creating intelligent training modules that adapt to a learner’s level of understanding and expertise makes simulations more applicable – and stickier.

How did it go for our luxury goods client? Exactly as described. By creating training that utilized simulations and adapted to the individual learner, they were able to clarify much of the gray area that was giving employees pause. By putting those with higher levels of understanding on a “pro-track” to new information, they stayed engaged and the simulations were more impactful. And, catering to those who needed extra time finally received the attention they needed.

Adaption is what makes the difference between yet another case study and an engaging and interactive scenario. By treating learners like individuals, they get exactly what they need from the module – understanding that really sticks.