Both simulation-based learning and serious games use the core concept and structure of games in order to help assimilate new notions and meet the learning objectives. While “serious games” is the generic term for “game-based training” and “simulation-based learning”, many companies also refer to them as “business games”. All of them mean basically the same. We will, therefore, keep it simple and refer to all of them as “simulation-based learning”.
Simulation-based learning entails the immersion of the user into a parallel reality, where several game elements come into play, such as game mechanics, game thinking, and avatars, having as ultimate purpose the foundation of a captivating experience, where progress is monitored, and results communicated at the end of the training. This puts people in situations where they get to test alternative ways to solve problems, enhancing critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. This method has been found to be one of the fastest tools for changing behaviour.
Depending on the type of simulation required, the users can move around in an environment without feeling immersed into a game, but perceiving it as a reality, therefore the gaming methods are reduced to minimum details and the emphasis is on a closer replica of the users’ surroundings. Within a more serious context that approaches reality very much, the participants find themselves landing in an immersive space and submitting to several tests meant to build experience and lead them to learn from the consequences of the virtual actions of avatars.
A simulation-based tool helps users build the technical, safety, or soft-skills literacy that equip them with the needed confidence to gain experience within a controlled environment. This supports the participants to make informed decisions and shift their mentality to a healthier one that stays and is internalised.
While in a job environment each action has real consequences, in a simulation context, the employee is safe and ready to make mistakes, taking onboard the learnings derived from each decision and applying them to real life. That is when both growth and learning come together in a synergy that fosters professional development.
A great advantage that applies to simulation-based training, serious games, and game-based training is the memorability of the practical contact with the experience - only the applied concepts will stay present in the memory of the participant. If not applied immediately or constantly reviewed, these will fade away in a matter of days, according to psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus. Of course, the rate of forgetting goes according to several factors: the way the information is represented, its meaningfulness, and other psychological constituents.
What makes the information memorable and unforgettable is interacting with it in a practical context. The alternative is the constant repetition of the concepts. That is why there is proven efficiency within the simulation-based training, as the participant has the chance to practise the concepts until these are correctly deployed in real life.
An added important factor related to the values unleashed by these training methods is that they help strengthen the employee’s soft skills, increasing self-awareness of their own flaws and helping to turn those around into strengths. While setting the base for solid knowledge and behaviour improvement through constant repetition, there are parallel benefits that are revealed from this practice: reinforcement of creativity, critical thinking, proactivity, anticipation, problem solving, and strategic thinking.
Last but not least, simulation-based learning, serious games, and game-based training have in common two other huge benefits, that are the flexibility of feeling free to make mistakes in a safe environment and being trained to avoid risks in a real environment. Making mistakes is part of any learning process, but if these can be wrapped in a simulated environment, where the consequences stay alive in the memory of the participant, with minimum risks in the real world, then the goal of the efficient training has been reached. An optimal gamified training requires a solid realistic simulation; therefore, simulation becomes the mother of any of these LMS.
One of the biggest benefits of games is that they create an environment where it is safe to fail and making mistakes is no longer punished, but encouraged, as it boosts our problem-solving skills and agility. We no longer live in the era of the stick, but in the age of carrots and rewards, where our mindset should embrace growth, self-improvement through self-correction, and be supported by a much larger scope - that of evolving into a better professional and an even better human being.
Do you want your people to be enthusiastic and motivated about the next course you are developing? The technology is finally here: a low-code simulation tool with high accessibility for everyone in the organisation.
Apprend.ly makes it easy to create a training experience to match the expectations of your employees, by including game-based training, simulation, and serious games, all in one engaging and unique interaction. An easy-to-use and no-code solution, that counts on improved lighting, state-of-the-art contrasts, nature and human sounds, smart element placements, and friendly visualisation timings, ensuring that all settings are remembered and enjoyed.
Why settle for less when you can deliver a high-quality comprehensive solution for your employees?