From the military to medicine, simulation training has long been utilized to help learners combine the knowledge learned in their coursework with practical skills to improve outcomes and decrease risk. From fire rescue training to operating a forklift, simulation training can be integrated into your professional and safety training courses to increase retention (and enjoyment!) of your learners. Here’s what you need to know about why simulation training is so effective when considering incorporating it into your organization’s training toolkit.
Whether a situation is occurring in “real life” or in a simulated training, it feels the same to your brain. This is due to the immersive nature of the experience; our minds are powerful and like to place us in the context of the situations and stories we are experiencing, so that activity is triggered whether the event is real or simulated. In a way, these types of scenarios are more fun for your brain and engage you in the learning in a deeper way than traditional coursework might.
Coolness factor aside, not every simulation has to be a 3D or VR experience to be impactful to a learner’s success. In fact, something as simple as storytelling in your coursework can boost the simulated nature of the material and help learners to internalize and retain the content. Vector’s very own Jeff Dalto explored this topic in his article on storytelling in safety training, “When people listen to a story, they often become active participants in the story-telling. They identify with the characters and try to anticipate events and consequences.”
One of the key reasons that simulation can really help mitigate risk is that it allows for isolation and repetition. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) found that harnessing the power of computer-based simulation of work experience increases the learner’s involvement and interest in the material. While online training has so many incredible benefits, it is hard to replicate the experience of teaching a complex physical task in person, which means a lot of skill-work is reserved for face-to-face education settings. Simulation training opens up opportunities for complex physical skill training online and allows for learners to isolate the areas they need to work on and repeat them, on their own time and in a virtual environment.
In our real-life jobs, there can be a lot at stake, particularly when dealing with complex machinery or working on active job sites like construction or manufacturing facilities. Sectors like engineering, health and medicine, and education are utilizing Virtual Reality (VR) to create immersive experiences that allow learners to practice using heavy machinery or chemicals while training in a safe environment. VR training also allows organizations to identify areas where there may be more incidents, and provide focused skill refreshers that reinforce proper procedures and give feedback without additional consequences or risk to safety.
One of the greatest things about simulation training is how well it works with other forms of learning, from in-classroom to online coursework. The American Red Cross found that the combination of a traditional classroom experience and simulation learning helped prepare learners to be efficient and effective in a crisis. Learners felt that the chance to make mistakes and try out their skills in a low-pressure, low-risk setting gave them the opportunity to learn from mistakes. It also allowed them to gain valuable experience that (though simulated) felt real, and, when faced with the real experience, gave them the sense that they had been through it before.
At Vector Solutions, we’re passionate about delivering high-tech, optimized solutions that help organizations optimize performance and mitigate risk. Simulation training is a flexible, adaptable solution that can have a huge impact on the safety of your teams. Learn more about our solutions, here.