Most employees often find it difficult to apply the concepts learned in the training to their job roles. One of the key reasons for this is the inability of employees to relate training with the real world situations. This may be attributed to the lack of realism in training.
For example, consider a sales training scenario. A trainer is training sales people on how to handle customer objections. One of the steps in effectively handling customer objections is acknowledging the objection of the customer. When this point is conveyed with a real world example as shown in the video below, the training becomes more practical and the ability of the sales people to apply the same in real life situations increases.
Here are three ways to incorporate realism into your online training courses.
1. Case studies: Case studies are real-time experiences of organizations. Basically, a case study has a problem, the investigation process, and finally, the actions taken by the organization to resolve a problem. Incorporating case studies in the online course allows learners analyze the problem and take/recommend the right solution for it. In addition, it allows learners grasp the principles and apply the same in different contexts.
This is better explained with an example. For instance, you have handed over a data theft case to your learner. The learner analyzes the situation and identifies the reasons for the data theft. Learners are encouraged to come up with the necessary information security measures the organization has to take to avoid such instances in the future. This makes training realistic and in fact, provides learners a clear cut idea of what to do if such situations occur in their workplace.
2. Video interviews: You can incorporate a video interview in the eLearning course to show a real situation pertaining to your instructional objective. For instance, if you want your sales employees to learn how to handle annoyed customers, then interview your experienced reps who have already dealt with such customers, the situations they encountered, and how they tackled them. These videos will offer new reps valuable, practical advice on how to deal with such issues in real time.
3. Scenarios: Another way to add workplace realism in online training is by incorporating scenarios. Scenarios describe real-life situations that allow learners gain the required skills and knowledge, and apply these when they experience similar problems. Instructional designers develop scenarios based on learning objectives and by talking to Subject Matter Experts to understand real problems that employees are expected to solve or real situations that they face at the workplace. Scenarios are embedded in the content delivered to the learners. They will go through each scenario and take decisions on how to handle the issue. Scenarios offer a fail-safe environment and thus help learners explore the consequences of different choices, without real time implications. This helps them relate the concepts with their work problems and gain understanding on the subject. For example, medical reps have to convince doctors of the efficacy of their drugs in treating diseases and answer questions posed by the doctors regarding the drug’s indications, dosage, related clinical studies, etc. To help them gain this confidence, the online course can have scenarios where different reps answers a doctor’s queries (avatar) and objections and how the doctor responded to the rep’s answers.
These are a few ways to incorporate workplace realities in your eLearning courses. This helps employees learn how to tackle real-time situations in their day-to-day job roles with ease.
How have you incorporated workplace realities into your training? What were the results?