Simulation exercises are essential but are not always straightforward in a distance-learning context and can pose a real problem for trainers. There are, however, several ways of encouraging role playing and different types of learning, even when the learner is behind a screen. From the simplest to the most engaging, discover our simulation solutions for e-learning.
Use historical storytelling
Whether in a classroom or remotely, simulation is always based on storytelling. Each learner steps into someone else’s shoes to follow a scenario and create a sketch.
Why not do the same remotely? As long as your learners have a camera, a microphone and a good Internet connection, you can have them interact with each other perfectly well. According to custom, create the context of the story and the characters. Then let your trainees take the reins, using what they have learned or need to learn in order to develop a story. If everyone is motivated, you can even use your trainees’ environments (an apartment, a garage or a workshop) and clothes (a suit jacket, a safety helmet or a headset).
Bear in mind that role plays can only be used in the context of a virtual class. All the users need to be connected at the same time and take part in this session together.
An extensive range of games is now available for learning differently. From individual to collective games, whether or not based on technology, you really are spoiled for choice!
Let’s start with the most affordable solution: games requiring almost no equipment. This technique, designed by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo, has enjoyed worldwide success. What better way to get started than to use a method that has already been tried and tested?
Set up a ‘Blind Zone’, for example, to gauge your learners’ actual and perceived knowledge. Whip out a ‘Campfire’ when you want to encourage your trainees to learn together. Encourage feedback via a ‘World Café’.
You will see that most of these games require little materials. Instead of a whiteboard and post-its, use tools like Conceptboard or Stormboard that let you draw hands-free and use coloured sheets. That’s the advantage of the digital world: a multitude of tools enabling you to recreate a classroom in no time at all!
Games are a great way of learning, but are not sufficient on their own. To make the most of their potential, don’t forget to evaluate your learners’ skills. It is when learners review the knowledge they have learned that they best grasp the key points.
Personalize courses with interactive videos
Are you familiar with the principle of interactive videos? These are videos that evolve according to the viewer’s choices. Like books in which the reader is the hero, these videos can be used to present a wide range of jobs, situations or issues (operational or managerial). Thanks to several ‘hotspots’, you can follow the standard storyline or take parallel paths. This way, you can explore the whole theme of the video or only part of it.
Interactive videos are ideal when faced with learners who are up against a variety of situations or who have different levels of knowledge.
There is no need for you to design the scenarios or edit the videos; specialized companies can do this for you.
Enter a whole new world with serious games
If you want to take things a step further than interactive videos, discover the wonderful world of serious games! Like interactive videos, you can use existing situations or create your own game yourself.
Serious games are available on a range of topics in a variety of formats and worlds and are now so widespread that the one you need almost certainly already exists. Serious games are perfect for asynchronous learning as they are played alone. Accessible using a smartphone, they don’t require any particular skills or devices.
They are very effective in the learning process, but represent a certain cost. Depending on your organization and how you are going to use them, serious games can be a great way for learners to practise what they have seen with the trainer.
Guarantee total immersion via mixed reality
Here we step over into the most immersive solution: mixed reality. Mixed reality is very engaging, very versatile and can really drive the learning process forward, embodying a new way of designing how you teach.
You can’t base the entire course on such technology, of course, but in some sectors like healthcare, mixed reality has really proven to be very effective.
Here again, the cost of equipment and use can make you think twice, but if the needs justify it, you won’t find anything better in terms of practical simulation!
Thanks to these various more or less accessible tools, distance is becoming less and less of an obstacle to learners and the way in which they put their knowledge and skills into practice. Play amongst yourselves or have your learners play them alone to automate simulation exercises in your e-learning courses.
With a Master’s degree in Communication from Science Po Grenoble, I main work in the field of B2B. After various experiences in the web, I specialized in content creation, optimization and management. I work in the fields of training, HR and digital technology. I am particularly interested in new teaching methods and the added value of digital technology in learning.