Virtual business acumen training and simulation

Two Perspectives: Business Simulations in Today’s Learning Environment (Part 1 of 4)

Posted by Paradigm Learning on August 04, 2020

In this four-part series, Robb Gomez, COO of Paradigm Learning and Rob Brodo, CEO of Advantexe respond to interview questions about the use of simulations in today’s changing corporate learning environment. Advantexe and Paradigm are currently partnering to develop an asynchronous digital business acumen simulation, Zodiak Pro, due to launch this fall.

Question: How do simulations fit into our current learning and development landscape?  

Robb Gomez:

When COVID-19 closed the doors to classroom learning in mid-March, HR and learning professionals had to look for alternatives for delivery of business-critical training. Live, virtually-delivered sessions have increased dramatically. And, learning departments are also exploring more options for asynchronously- delivered online content to meet their needs. 

Integrating simulations into live virtual sessions or within online, self-directed programs is one of the most effective ways to ensure that the learning grabs and keeps the attention of learners. 

In a live virtual environment with an instructor/facilitator, for example, a simulation can enlist learners who might otherwise be disconnected or distracted because of their isolation from others. By placing learners in virtual teams to work through a simulated experience, they are compelled to work together to solve problems, make decisions, and brainstorm ideas. They get caught up in a storyline that mirrors the reality of their organizations and jobs and learn from each other as well as the instructor. Time in the virtual classroom moves more quickly and efficiently.  

In much the same way, a simulation that is used in a self-paced digital environment can employ an interesting and realistic storyline as well as a variety of activities to keep learners moving through their journey toward discovery and insights.     

Rob Brodo:

I agree with everything Robb shared and more! One of the unique ways an asynchronous simulation will fit into the current learning and development landscape is through its flexibility to a learner’s schedule.  

As business processes are evolving in the post-pandemic business world, learners feel they have less and less control of their time. This type of simulation gives the power back to the learner because they can decide where and when they want to engage with their learning. They now have a real and impactful alternative to taking a full day away from their job, which could also include travel and lodging, and can schedule the learning on their time and in the chunks they desire. 

For example, a learner could decide to dedicate an hour on Monday to the introduction, an hour on Tuesday for year oneThey then could carve out an hour on Wednesday for the virtual AI-driven debriefing, and then another few hours spread over Thursday to complete years 2-3 of the simulation. On Friday, they would review all the feedback and simulation results to close out a great week of productive learning and work!  

The key factor to consider in today’s virtual learning is building in flexibility so that learners can guide their own development. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our blog series: What Design Elements are Especially Important in an Asynchronous Simulation.


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