Businesses worldwide are working longer and harder to upskill their employees. They’re striving to keep pace with emerging technologies and best practices in the market while also ensuring continuity and profitability. However, with the onset of remote and hybrid work models, arranging in-person classroom training sessions has become increasingly difficult. As a result, organizations are swiftly transforming their corporate training programs by leveraging the power of eLearning.
Experiential eLearning remains a relatively unknown concept in the corporate sector. Nevertheless, it can prove extremely useful. The idea behind experiential eLearning is when trainers incorporate experiential learning methods with eLearning solutions. This unique corporate training method helps employees develop skills on-the-job, and it also expedites the training process.
How to Integrate Experiential eLearning With Corporate Training?
Here are 7 strategies that will help:
- Immersive Technologies
- Branching Simulations
- On-the-Job Training
- Blended Learning
- Social Learning
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the concept of experiential eLearning and share everything it entails, from its benefits to top instructional strategies that unlock its potential.
Benefits of Experiential eLearning
At its core, experiential learning is a training method based on trial and error that involves learning by doing and applying newly learned skills during everyday work-related tasks. Experiential eLearning takes practical work-related tasks and illuminates them using virtual training platforms.
For example, a company’s sales team operating remotely could be trained on customer service using scenario-based eLearning courses to prepare for future sales, such as Black Friday or Christmas.
Similarly, many companies use sophisticated eLearning authoring tools, such as Articulate Storyline 360 or Adobe Captivate, to immerse employees into virtual environments so they can obtain hands-on learning experiences.
Here are some of the unique benefits of experiential eLearning for corporate training in the new normal:
1. Behavioral Change
The brick-and-mortar classroom places restrictions on employees by asking them to follow specific rules and regulations. This often limits their freedom and creativity. However, experiential learning, which often involves learning from failures, can trigger behavioral changes, during the learning phase, that helps employees overcome the obstacles holding them back.
2. Theories and Concepts Integrated with Everyday Tasks
One of the key differences between experiential training and microlearning is that the latter offers theories. In contrast, experiential learning provides concepts alongside real-world opportunities to put what employees have learned into action. A great example of experiential learning are simulations or mock courtroom trials where learners participate in the legal process rather than merely reading about it.
3. Fun and Immersive Learning Experience
According to Cognitive Today, fun, curiosity, and engagement are the keys to energize one’s learning. Experiential eLearning offers more than just an immersive digital learning experience. It also enables employees to absorb knowledge by putting their learning to practice, and not just passively watching, reading, listening, or taking notes. Learners that participate in experiential eLearning can smoothen the learning curve and pick up new concepts and skills much faster than through other eLearning methods.
4. Better Retention
In the way that practice builds muscle memory, experiential learning triggers long-term behavioral change. Therefore, learners are more likely to grasp and recall information performing real-world activities instead of watching short videos or taking regular quizzes.
Providing immediate feedback can improve learners’ self-awareness, proficiency, confidence, and enthusiasm. This can also enhance retention, as you can use feedback to address misconceptions, reinforce training strategies, and boost participation.
7 Strategies to Integrate Experiential eLearning with Corporate Training
If you’re intrigued by the benefits of experiential learning, here are 7 strategies to integrate them with your digital learning platforms:
With virtual instructor-led training becoming the go-to corporate training method, now is the time to integrate aspects of experiential learning with your instructional strategy. There are several ways to do this.
For instance, let’s say you’re training your team to take on the latest cybersecurity solutions on Zoom Meetings. You can show them how to conduct the newest cybersecurity methods during a session, such as installing an anti-virus solution, downloading, and running a VPN, and updating the best software. You could also train your learners to use your newly developed enterprise solutions by conducting a trial run with them.
Gamification is trending in the eLearning industry. The practice of game-based mechanics involves applying different gaming formats for learning that is fun, entertaining and that boosts participation and engagement. Creating games based on your learners’ needs gives employees the opportunity to learn, fail, and try again until they get it right in a safe, risk-free environment.
3. Immersive Technologies
By leveraging the power of immersive technologies, such as AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality), L&D (learning and development) teams can deliver real-world, hands-on experiences to upskill their organization. This can come in handy, when developing technical skills and simulating activities that require precision and critical thinking.
4. Branching Simulations
Experiential learning is built upon the foundation of decision-making. Therefore, simulations and scenario-based learning come in handy as they expose learners to real-world scenarios at work, and position them to make tough choices. The benefit here is that it’s all done in a safe, risk-free environment, so learners are free to make mistakes and start again.
5. On-the-Job Training
One way to leverage the power of experiential eLearning is by incorporating it in your just-in-time learning and microlearning modules. You can help employees quickly solve problems by following instructions and how-to videos and extracting the information they need through the constant access provided by experiential eLearning courses.
6. Blended Learning
L&D managers can incorporate experiential learning into their coaching strategies, especially when following a hybrid work model. This ensures that employees are learning by doing in both virtual and in-person environments and are improving their productivity, skills, and overall performance at work.
Blended learning combines instructor-led training sessions with digital learning, and learners can reap the benefits of each model by experimenting with different syntheses until they find the best mix.
7. Social Learning
An important aspect of experiential learning is observing peers and instructors and learning from them. Social learning is all about helping employees pick up soft skills, such as:
- Effective Communication
- Emotional Intelligence
- Video Conferencing
So, there you have it. These are the 7 top instructional strategies for experiential eLearning. With this information, you’re all set to explore this highly innovative learning technique and produce exponential growth across every level of your organization. As employees’ preferences and behavior continue to develop, experiential learning plays a crucial role in providing insights into your learners’ capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, and goals, and facilitates their long-term behavioral change.
Now that you’re aware of the many instructional design methodologies, it’s time to figure out which one works best for your training programs. Are you interested in learning more about the instructional design process, eLearning interactivities, and assessments? Get all your queries answered by downloading this free eBook.