How Simulation Training Benefits Your Existing Digital Training Efforts

Simulation training is the latest tool in the virtual training handbook, yielding excellent knowledge retention results due to its hands-on nature. A Journal of Graduate Medical Education reports simulation training results in 90 percent retention immediately after training. Given such impressive results, it’s not surprising that 34 percent of companies use some form of simulation training, with fifteen percent of organizations planning to adopt simulation training in the near future.

What is simulation training?

Simulation training immerses students in a virtual training environment that replicates real-world equipment and workplace processes. Some training goes so far as to duplicate the sounds of the workplace for added realism. Within the safety of the simulation, students can practice vital skills and processes without risk of injury, equipment damage, or interruptions in worksite productivity. 

Simulation training has, in one form or another, been around for decades. The Air Force and commercial airlines have long used flight simulators, which allow pilots to familiarize themselves with an aircraft’s controls and encounter virtual events that, in real life, would be highly dangerous to duplicate. 

Why are simulations useful for digital safety training?

Simulations are useful for digital safety training for several reasons. First, as we just mentioned, simulations are safe environments. Should the learner make a misstep in a process, there are no consequences. In the real world, missing an important step while working with pressurized steam, for instance, could result in serious injury. That same mistake becomes a teachable moment in a simulated environment; The simulation shows the consequences of student mistakes without actual injury or equipment damage while providing a memorable example of what can go wrong. 

Simulation training relies on gamification to fully engage the student. This increases retention while providing opportunities to learn by doing. Immersive, hands-on training remains the most effective way to learn a new skill. 

Live Instruction and simulation training

Simulation training is highly effective when combined with a live instructor, either in a physical classroom or through VILT (Virtual Instructor-Led Training). Instructors can guide students through the simulation, offering real-time feedback and advice to improve success and further facilitate retention.

Simulation training in live classrooms also allows classmates to encourage and cooperate during training. When coworkers tackle simulation-based problems together, they reinforce their commitment to teamwork and cooperation. At the same time, observing coworkers as they interact with the simulation adds to the learning experience. Individuals get to see what works (and equally importantly, what doesn’t) as they await their turn in the simulated environment. 

Simulation training and self-directed study

Digital safety training often relies on self-directed learning. Employees access training modules through the organization’s workforce management system, either as part of an as-needed training program or as refresher courses. Combining simulation training with self-directed learning allows the employee to practice skills on an as-needed basis. With the absence of a live instructor, simulation results provide valued feedback. 

Self-directed learning is used to instruct employees with significant differences in skill levels and experience, from new workers just onboarding to the seasoned veterans of your worksite. Simulation training can be customized to match the skill sets of individual workers, so they receive the right training at the right moment in their careers. 

Simulation training is quantifiable training

Simulation training provides a wealth of learning data that can be captured, measured, and analyzed. Such data helps your digital safety program verify employee success, improve upon existing training modalities, and address gaps in employee skill sets. Compliance is easier, as your organization can quickly access data to determine if an employee has successfully completed and understood safety-related training. 

Digital safety training allows your employees to access training materials quickly and efficiently. With the addition of simulation training, your workforce management program will see higher retention rates, more engaged employees, and higher rates of safety training success. Simulation training sounds like the future, but it’s available for use right now. 


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