From virtual reality to standardized medical mannequins, simulation-based training is making its way into more classrooms than ever. This type of training is favored by professionals in high-risk and detail-oriented jobs.
Backed by higher than average learner engagement, impressive knowledge gains, and cutting-edge methodologies, professionals across industries are using simulations to teach everything from clinical pharmacology to freight-car air-brake inspection.
And while didactic teaching focuses on basic concepts and skill development, it’s insufficient for dealing with crises or for team-based activities that require retention of knowledge and skills beyond a year.
In 2016, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) partnered with Facebook and Oculus and developers AiSolve and BioflightVR to create and deploy medical VR simulations that replicate pediatric emergencies.
Being prepared to handle rare, critical real-world scenarios is a valuable skillset. Outside of purpose-built simulations (and they don’t have to be VR), developing this level of acumen typically only comes with years of experience.
The program’s early success and clear benefits have fueled its rate of adoption. Shauna Heller, president of North America for AiSolve and the executive director of the pilot project said, “We wrote about the program last year, when the results were still being evaluated based on how effective the training was and how much money it could save the hospital on an annual basis. Now the program is expanding to 11 new health care organizations, including hospitals, networks, and universities.”
SpaceX is preparing their first generation of astronauts with a simulator that essentially re-creates the entire capsule interior, from the seats to the windows. In the simulator, astronauts train for all kinds of spaceflight situations from a normal flight to the unthinkable.
SpaceX will put them through increasingly complex failure scenarios, such as fires or depressurization, and the astronauts will have to communicate with ground control to see if they need to fix something inside the capsule. It even has a sunlight simulator — a lamp — that shines through the window to emulate how the Sun will look during flight.
While this simulation is driven by technology and plays out on a computer screen, the analog interaction between the trainee and the equipment takes this type of simulation to the next level.
With technology overload leaving some in search of more face-to-face activities, the board game resurgence is alive and stronger than ever. These games are being used for more than passing the time at family gatherings.
Fueled by elements of gamification and narrative-driven simulations, these classroom and large event experiences have been achieving learning objectives for over 20 years.
The success of these programs is attributable to the thoughtfully crafted content, the socially engaging and immersive nature of these games and simulations, as well as the instant feedback of teammates and facilitators alike.
See how some organizations are using board games and simulation to practice and learn the skills needed by doing them in our eGuide, Experiential Learning: Connecting individual Actions to the Big Picture.