Is your online training scenario on-point or off-base? To improve your training ROI and offer your employees real world value, your scenarios must hit the target. In this article, we’ll share the top 5 mistakes you might make and how to avoid them.
Why Your Online Training Scenarios May Be Missing The Mark
Online training scenarios give learners the chance to put their knowledge and skills to practice. They are engaging, immersive, and interactive tools that offer valuable online training experience. However, you have to include a few essential elements to reap the real world rewards.
Here are the top 5 reasons why your training scenario may be missing the mark, and 5 tips to overcome the obstacles.
1. Unclear Learning Objectives
You’ve created memorable eLearning characters, great dialogue, and a realistic setting. The one thing your scenario lacks is a clear direction. It doesn’t tie into your learning objectives or the desired outcome. In other words, it gives employees the chance to explore but doesn’t give them a destination. As such, employees aren’t able to apply what they’ve learned and the training activity fails to offer them real-world value.
To hit the target develop clear, specific learning goals and objectives for your course. Then use these as the building blocks for your training activity. For example, you need to improve your customer satisfaction ratings.
Therefore, your scenario should reinforce communication and problem-solving skills. Employees must be able to interact with customer personas and use tools they’ll encounter on the job. In other words, every aspect of your course should support the primary learning objectives.
2. Lacks Real World Applications
One of the most notable benefits of online training scenarios is that they provide real-world experience. Employees are able to perfect their approach and learn from their mistakes. As such, they don’t have to repeat those mistakes in the workplace. However, you must give them the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world context.
To hit the mark, you should make this activity as realistic as possible and forms an emotional connection. Incorporate situations that employees commonly face in the workplace. Allow them to interact with a broad range of customers. Encourage them to read body language and facial expressions.
In addition, mimic the pressure and stress that they must endure during a sales transaction. Online training scenarios should facilitate the knowledge transfer process so that employees move information from theory to practice.
3. Does NOT Provide Immediate Feedback
Employees go through the motions. They make decisions based on their pre-existing knowledge, which lead them to specific outcomes. However, it stops there.
Your online training scenarios don’t tell employees how they can improve or how they performed. They have no way of knowing which mistakes they made or the resources they can use to fill the gaps. As such, they are unable to resolve the issue in a timely manner, and it’s more likely to escalate.
To make your scenarios more effective, provide personalized feedback during and after the activity. Include popups or tips after each branching path, or give learners a detailed list of things they need to work on after the fact. This should also be accompanied by resource links or supplemental training activities.
4. Employees Can’t Connect
You’ve included the key takeaways and all of the elements to support the learning objectives. Employees actually have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned. However, there’s something missing; an emotional connection.
Employees aren’t able to relate to the training content or see how it fits into the big picture. In short, it fails to resonate with them on a deeper level. Furthermore, it doesn’t meet their individual training needs or goals.
This is yet another reason why audience research is so crucial. Effective online training is meaningful and memorable. Employees feel like the online training activities are designed just for them. They address all of their skill gaps and provide essential information.
Find out what makes them tick. What are their interests? Which elements engage and inspire them? What do they need to achieve personal success? The answer to these all-important questions can help you form a meaningful connection.
5. Rewards Aren’t Worth The Risk
This actually has a double meaning. Firstly, it refers to the outcome of your training activity. Employees feel the pressure of making each decision. They know that every choice leads them down a different path. However, the eventual outcome leaves much to be desired. Either it’s completely realistic or doesn’t have an emotional impact.
For example, it ends with a one-liner that fails to resolve any of the issues or tell them what became of the eLearning characters. There is no explanation about where they went wrong or why they achieved this outcome. They still don’t know the best way to navigate the situation. The other alternative is that the scenario didn’t offer enough incentive. Employees aren’t motivated to achieve the desired outcome, let alone actively participate.
To overcome this complicated obstacle, add game mechanics to your scenario and give them a satisfactory resolution. Avoid cliffhangers that keep them guessing. Award eLearning badges, points, and other rewards when employees achieve favorable outcomes. You can even integrate a leaderboard that sparks friendly competition and boosts employee engagement.
In addition, offer personalized praise for those who excel and offer supplemental online training activities to avoid boredom. For example, an employee chooses all of the correct decision paths. This unlocks a serious game that explores subtopics and skills.
Bullseye: Hit The Mark For A Happy Ending!
Are your online training scenarios really worth the investment? Can they actually contribute to improving your corporate eLearning ROI? Use these 5 tips to give your employees the real world, goal-centered training they require. As a matter of fact, you can use them for virtually ANY training activity.
Do your employees need immediate access to online training materials? Are you looking for ways to positively reinforce performance behaviors? Read the article 8 Best Practices For Just-In-Time Online Training to discover the best practices for developing just-in-time online training programs.