Let me give you a scenario. You are the new team member in the car service center, of a newly launched car. You and the rest of your team members are given a bulky manual to understand possible glitches in the new car. And you are expected to finish the manual in two days. Is that viable? Does it guarantee a thorough understanding of and the proper skills required to manage the glitches you may encounter along the way? Well, you have the answer. There are two things to it. One, in this time and age, reading bulky manuals is time consuming and it does not guarantee knowledge reinforcement. Two, understanding the schematics in a manual is quite confusing.
How do we tackle this situation? How do we make it simple and crisp for learners to understand complex information in any situation? Well, Screencasts and Simulations are the best solutions to demonstrate complex information to learners.
What is a screencast and how is it helpful? A screencast is a digital recording of the output of a computer screen, with audio narration. This recording can be converted into a video, to explain or demonstrate a process or an application. Tutorials, video lessons, and slideshare presentations are the finest examples of a screencast. You can make simple screencasts interesting with music, voice narration, and animated text. They are also helpful when there is a lack of engaging content.
Screencasts help learners absorb information better, as they enable learners understand the process and learn at their own pace. Especially in a production unit, screencasts help staff as they demonstrate step-by-step procedures and teach how to sort technical issues. With the advancement in technology, authoring tools are enabled with screen capture capabilities, providing screencasts. Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate are two amazing tools to create both screencast videos and interactive software simulations.
Screencasts can be used for various types of training such as process training, software training, product information, manufacturing, etc., anatomy (medical, plant, technical, etc.,) and scientific research. It can also be used for blogging and YouTube, to communicate and share ideas, opinions, and facts.
With simulation-based training programs, learners are presented lessons in a game-based environment. In the virtual environment, a replica of the actual system is created, so that learners get the feel of working on the actual system. They wade through the training, understanding the workings of the system. Through trial and error, learners are able to identify the right solutions to practical issues, which helps them incorporate the learnings in their daily activities. If you wish to convey the functionality a software application, simulations are the best solution. Using simulations makes learners better prepared and helps them master the application before starting actual work on it.
Simulation-based learning is apt for new learners as it proves to be invaluable to learners who do not possess the required skills. This enables them to learn in a risk-free environment, before embarking on the actual journey, where they cannot afford to make mistakes. For instance, simulation-based learning is highly essential in the aviation industry. Simulation training artificially recreates the aircraft flight environment, for the skills and knowledge needed to assure the highest safety in pilot training.
In the healthcare industry, simulation-based medical education allows learners gain the required knowledge, skills, and attitudes in a safe, pedagogically orientated and effective manner. In this mode of learning, learners are exposed to a combination of role play, and a variety of high tech tools in a replicated environment, to improve the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of the healthcare system.
In the software industry, simulation-based training programs are used for the prototyping and evaluation needs of product managers. CommLab developed 50 Simulation-based E-learning modules using Storyline, within a span of three weeks. These course are compatible on mobile phones and PCs.
If you are the MD of a large company that owns a lot of expensive machinery, you would wholeheartedly agree that letting new employees, with no skills, handle machinery is a scary thought. The reason is simple. Instead of investing in the repairs of the machinery, you can invest the same in simulation-based and screencast-based training, which will enable new learners absorb and learn the skills in a risk-free environment. In a replicated environment, learners can experiment and learn without the fear of damaging or being judged by superiors. This method also lets you gauge the skills of your learners in a safe environment and assist them where needed.
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