7 Tips To Create Simulation-Based eLearning Assessments

7 Tips To Create Simulation-Based eLearning Assessments
Summary: Do you need to test your employees' task proficiency? Are you more concerned about real world experience than theoretical know-how? In this article, I'll share 7 tips to create simulation-based eLearning assessments that provide qualitative data.

How To Create Simulation-Based eLearning Assessments

Simulations not only impart real world knowledge and practical experience, but they also serve as a valuable assessment tool in online training. Corporate learners have the ability to use their skills to accomplish a task or overcome a common challenge. Best of all, it's done in a risk-free environment where they can continually improve. Here are 7 top tips to develop simulation-based eLearning assessments.

1. Use Real World Settings And Situations

It's all hinges on immersion. Your simulation-based eLearning assessments must put employees "in the thick of things" so that they can relate to the situation. As such, corporate learners are able to step into the role and accomplish the task, as if they are actually there. This involves real world settings, tools, and challenges. For example, equipment that employees use on a regular basis or complications that may arise in the workplace. These true-to-life elements also offer another key benefit. They allow corporate learners to use their knowledge in functional context, which increases the value of your online training course. Use images taken at work and integrate sound effects that they encounter on a daily basis to enhance realism.

2. Focus On Practical Skill Application

Practicality is of the upmost importance. Online learners must be able to apply their knowledge and skills in the real world. In fact, that's one of the main purposes of conducting simulation-based eLearning assessments. This evaluation method gives you the chance to analyze their soft skill mastery, in particular. You also have the opportunity to determine not only how much they know, but also how well they know it. More importantly, how they use that information to achieve their goals and accomplish tasks. For example, they must put their skills into practice in order to resolve the conflict, or provide great customer service within the simulation.

3. Create An Emotionally-Centered Environment

Corporate learners have to feel like they are right in the middle of the action. It may be a virtual simulation, but you must create the perfect conditions to fully engage them. For example, the task usually involves a certain level of stress. As such, the simulation should apply the ideal amount of pressure. This encourages them to concentrate on the task and achieve the desired outcome. Furthermore, it allows you to see how they'll handle these issues in the real world. Will they be able to tackle any challenge that comes their way? Or will they fold under pressure?

4. Incorporate Customer Personas And Relatable Characters

Simulated eLearning characters should have a personality. That's not to say you should incorporate an entire backstory. However, it's wise to give them unique traits in order to make them more relatable and memorable. In sales online training courses, this comes in the form of customer personas. What these virtual characters say, and how they say it, is also essential. Their dialogue should be believable and organic. Avoid industry-specific jargon and complicated vocabulary. First and foremost, script out every scene so that you stay on course. Start with the introduction, then move onto the problem and resolution. Their motives are important. What drives characters to make certain decisions? And how do they respond to the corporate learner's interactions?

5. Stress The Repercussions Of Corporate Learners' Actions And Behaviors

Every decision has a repercussion, whether it's negative or positive. As such, every simulation should emphasize the consequences of corporate learners' actions and behaviors. For example, the employee fails to address the client's issue. Therefore, the client chooses not to give them any more business, and their sales figures drop. The corporate learner realizes that they could've handled the situation differently in order to achieve a favorable outcome. They're able to identify knowledge and skill gaps, then seek out additional resources. You are also able to monitor their performance and intervene, when necessary.

6. Analyze LMS Data To Find Areas For Improvement

Many LMS platforms are now equipped with reports and analytics. This allows you to monitor every aspect of employee performance, including their completion times and skills strengths and weaknesses. As a result, you have the power to find areas for improvement and provide supplemental eLearning resources. However, you can also do the same for your eLearning course design. For instance, 50% of your online learners aren't able to pass the simulation-based eLearning assessment. This may indicate that your eLearning course needs an overhaul. Perhaps you need to simplify complex concepts or include more visual representations. Evaluate your LMS metrics after each assessment to look for patterns and trends. Make a note of them, and then explore the "why" behind them. Do your online learners lack motivation? Is there any prerequisite knowledge that they simply don't have?

7. Offer Immediate Feedback And Recommendations

Online training simulations help you gauge online learner knowledge, but they also serve as valuable learning tools. There are two forms of feedback that online learners get from these interactive exams. Firstly, the repercussions in the simulation, itself, teach them right from wrong. For instance, they make an incorrect decision or use an ineffective tool. This tells them that they need to modify their approach. The other form of feedback comes immediately after the simulation. You can either automate the process in your Learning Management System or have the online instructor provide constructive criticism. In either case, it should be personalized and specific. Online learners need to know what they did incorrectly, when, and how to remedy the problem. Otherwise, they will continue to display unfavorable performance behaviors because they just don't know any better.

Simulations mimic real world environments and immerse corporate learners in real world situations. As such, they have the opportunity to identify areas for improvement before it's too late, and while they still have time to bridge the gaps. Use these 7 tips to create simulation-based eLearning assessments that make your online training more relatable and employee-centered.

There is no doubt that online training simulations improve task proficiency and give corporate learners the opportunity to immerse themselves in real world environments and situations. But, is it really worth the investment? Read the article When To Include Online Training Simulations: 6 Instances To Consider to discover when you should seriously consider including simulations in your next online training course.