When onboarding new hires or retraining existing resources, employees need space and place to practice tasks, processes, procedures, new tools, or difficult conversations with customers. Active working environments aren't always conducive to that practice, whether it's because the environment is unsafe, the procedure is complex (oil and gas, energy, telecommunications, construction, or production applications), there's potential for waste or impact to brand reputation (retail, customer service, hospitality, food service), or there's a steep learning curve (new software, equipment, or machinery). In such cases, eLearning can help simulate activities for learners to practice new concepts.

This case study reviews how, as part of a larger blended learning strategy, we used an open practice environment to create a safe space for new employees of our client's franchise restaurants, Rusty Taco, to practice building taco recipes without wasting ingredients, eating up valuable manager time, and risking customer orders. We'll walk through how we worked with SMEs to document recipe steps, photograph ingredients and the taco build process at each step, and replicated the restaurant's typical kitchen layout and assembly methods in a simulated environment. We'll walk through considerations for designing different simulated environments or situations, including how to adjust the stress level for the desired learning outcomes by adjusting time constraints or branching options, and how to increase the difficulty level as learners gain proficiency. After reviewing our process, we'll dive into some ways to apply the same techniques to other learning applications that would be a good fit for elearning simulations and practice environments including automotive repair, manufacturing, production and assembly, software simulations, point of sale systems, situational soft skills training, mechanical applications, aviation, healthcare, and more.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How simulations provide a safe environment for practice
  • How simulations allow for learning through mistakes
  • How simulations can help people learn new soft skills, processes, procedures, hardware, and software
  • How to design a simulated environment and adjust for difficulty and stress level
  • How to use eLearning simulations in other industries and use cases

Technology discussed:

Articulate Storyline, Camtasia, Adobe Creative Suite

Handouts