From Theory to Practice: How Online Simulation Games Can Help Learners Apply What They've LearnedOnline learning revolutionised corporate training back in the mid-90s and is now a staple element of Learning and Development curriculums worldwide.
However, 30 years on, many online learning solutions still lack one key ingredient – to provide learners with the opportunity to apply their learning.
Online business simulations and games are the solution, offering an engaging, practical, and effective learning format to help elevate any online learning initiative.
Online business simulation games allow learners to apply their new skills and knowledge to challenging real-life scenarios and, in doing so, ‘learn by doing.’
This type of learning is incredibly effective, as it allows learners to experience the consequences of their actions, understand their mistakes and learn from them.
They provide a safe and risk-free environment for learners to experiment with their new skills and test their understanding of concepts they’ve learned.
Here are some ways online business simulation games can help learners apply what they’ve learned:
1. Online simulation games allow learners to practise decision-making skills
One of the biggest challenges faced by learners is applying the knowledge and skills they've learned to real-world situations. Online simulation games provide a platform for learners to practise decision-making skills in a safe and controlled environment.
By putting learners in challenging situations, they can apply their knowledge to make decisions and see the consequences of their choices.
The game provides instant feedback, allowing learners to see the impact of their decisions, which helps them to develop their decision-making skills and gain confidence in their abilities.
Case Study: The University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne used online business simulations as a part of their postgraduate business courses. Students were divided into teams and were given a virtual business to run.
They had to make decisions on product development, pricing, marketing, and financing. The simulation game provided students with hands-on experience of running a business, allowing them to apply their knowledge to real-life situations.
The university reported that the use of simulations improved students' engagement, motivation, and performance.
2. Online simulation games complement the learning from other online modules
Online simulation games complement the learning from other online modules, providing a safe learning environment for learners to turn their knowledge and insights into practical skills they can apply back to the workplace.
When used in conjunction with other learning modules, such as e-learning or instructor-led training, simulations can provide a deeper understanding of complex concepts by enabling learners to apply the knowledge they have gained.
This approach can help bridge the gap between theory and practice and help learners see how their knowledge and skills can be applied in real-life scenarios.
3. Online simulations games provide clear and measurable learning outcomes
Online simulation games provide clear and measurable learning outcomes where L&D functions can gauge learning from a practical context rather than a simple score from a theory-based recall test.
This provides a more accurate representation of how well learners have understood the concepts and how they can apply their knowledge to practical situations.
By providing measurable learning outcomes, simulations help L&D teams to identify areas where learners need further development and adjust their learning initiatives accordingly.
Industry Insight: The Global Corporate E-learning Market
According to a report by Technavio, the global corporate e-learning market is expected to grow by USD 38.09 billion during 2021-2025, with a CAGR of over 13%. The report attributes this growth to the increasing adoption of gamification in e-learning.
The use of gamification, such as online simulation games, makes learning more engaging and interactive, leading to higher levels of learner engagement and retention.
In conclusion, online business simulation games offer a practical and engaging learning format that can help learners apply their knowledge and skills to real-life situations.
By providing a safe environment to practise decision-making skills and complementing the learning from others online modules, simulations can bridge the gap between theory and practice and help learners see how they can apply their knowledge and skills to their work.
Online simulation games also provide clear and measurable learning outcomes that enable L&D teams to gauge learning from a practical context and identify areas where learners need further development.
With the growing adoption of gamification in e-learning, the use of online simulation games is becoming increasingly popular, and this trend is set to continue.
Incorporating online business simulations into your online learning initiatives can help you create a more engaging and effective learning experience for your learners.
By providing learners with the opportunity to apply their learning in a practical context, you can help them develop their skills and gain confidence in their abilities, leading to improved performance in the workplace.
If you’re looking to incorporate online business simulations into your learning and development initiatives, MDA Training can help.
With over 30 years of experience in corporate training, MDA Training has developed a range of online simulation games that can help your learners apply their learning and develop practical skills they can use in the workplace.
MDA Training’s simulations are designed to be engaging and challenging, offering learners a safe environment to practise their skills and apply their learning.
With clear and measurable learning outcomes, you can be sure that your learners are gaining practical skills that they can use in their roles.
So, if you’re ready to take your online learning initiatives to the next level, contact MDA Training’s experts today. We can help you select the right simulations for your learners and guide you through the implementation process, ensuring that you get the most out of your investment.