Tag Archives: scenario-based learning

Illuminate, a Scenario-Based Corporate Adventure Game

Remember our article on Scenario-Based Learning (SBL) a while back? We discussed the benefits of SBL in ensuring that learners know how to apply the knowledge that they have learnt. Scenario-based learning is especially effective for training with 2 features- Interactivity and realism.

  • Interactivity Helps Learners Own The Results Of Their Actions: When learners get to interact with different elements- Eg. Introducing new characters, going down different pathways as a result of their decisions, they end up with a very personalised experience where they are in charge of the situation and they are made to go through decision-making steps. When learners own the result of their decisions, they are more likely to remember these results/consequences.
  • Realistic Scenarios Help Contextualise Learning To Their Own Situations At Work: The more realistic and contextualised the scenario is, the more learners are likely to take away lesson objectives from the course. For example, videos with realistic situations, real life actors and dialogue that are culturally similarly are more likely to engage learners as they will be able to see how these situations can apply in their everyday life and learn from them. Information that is given within a contextual setting allows learners to retain it in their working memory and also to commit it to their long-term memory

So Scenario-based Learning is great. But what if it could be even more awesome? What if we could turn Scenario-based Learning into a more immersive experience? Taking some inspiration to the Choose-your-own-adventure books that many of us grew up with, we created Illuminate.

Illuminate is a corporate adventure game that immerses learners into real life scenarios. It is highly interactive and realistic as it brings learners through a series of scenarios where they are the main character and need to make decisions. Scenarios are made even more realistic by the use of actors in the production of videos and photos. Learners make a series of decisions that determine how well they have applied what they learn.  Learners get to visualise the positive and negative results of their actions. This is especially effective and important for application-heavy type of courses like code of conduct, ethics, compliance, values training and sales training etc.

Here’s a short video we’ve put together showing how Illuminate works.

Illuminate comes as a custom e-learning solution and we’re in the process of putting together some off-the-shelf content as well. Contact us at illuminate@epiphanyedu.com for a free demo!

Scenario-Based Learning and E-learning for Pharmaceutical Sales Training

techthursday

Tech Thursday is a blog series where we feature industry people, corporate learners and trainers on their e-learning habits. It covers everything from the e-learning they do in their company to the one tech device they can’t live without. This thursday, we feature Clara (not her real name), who works in one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world. She shares about the type of training that her company conducts, and how she benefits from it.

Hi Clara! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I graduated from university 2.5 years ago and joined an international pharmaceutical firm hoping to make a difference in the lives of patients – with the medicines I sell and market. I had a good 1 year worth of pharmaceutical sales experience before moving into my current role. I am now a Product Associate (marketing), working on the Respiratory portfolio.

What kind of training do you do in your company?
In my company, we do alot training. It is made up of a combination of face to face training, e-learning and OTJ (on the job) training. We do training for things like compliance, onboarding, ethics and sales training.

Medicines

A lot of know-how is needed when we sell medicine as sales reps.

How do you usually go through training?
We have different types of trainings. Being in a pharmaceutical industry, everything we do is governed by Local standard operating procedures (LSOPs) and every decision we make must be based on something that has been approved – internally and/or externally. Every new employee would go through onboarding that includes face to face with the functional expert (i.e. Finance, Procurement, Supply/Demand, Marketing, Sales), and a subsequent LSOP self-read on the e-learning platform. Every quarter, there will be mandatory refresher e-learning modules (it may be the same LSOP, or some kind of interactive media modules) fed to each employee and we are expected to complete the e-Learning by a stipulated time line. Trainings may be conducted via Microsoft Livemeeting/telephone if the trainer is overseas, and technical skill trainings (e.g. leadership skills, marketing skills workshop) are generally conducted by an external trainer face to face in the Singapore office. Sales representatives are trained via weekly role plays, where trainers/product managers will come up with scenarios (such as common objections from our customers) embedded in them. Sales reps will then have to practice among themselves to overcome the objection, with the help of product managers and trainers.

What do you like about the different forms of training that you have?
I find role plays especially useful for the sales and marketing function. Meeting customers and selling our product is what we do every day, and objections and competition we face in the field are real too. I personally think that the traditional e-learning or classroom style type of knowledge-transfer alone where you just read a huge chuck of information or sit in class merely listening to the trainer will not make an impact on a salesperson’s competency in selling. Afterall, it’s a soft skill and needs to be developed. Role plays with scenarios that contain common objections are more useful. E-learning is useful for self-reading and self-assessment in our own free time as our busy lifestyles are really complementary to self-paced learning.

Other than the training provided by your company, do you actively seek out other ways to improve how you do your job?
I want to be constantly updated with the news and industry trends, so I take to reading the news on my laptop.

What kind of tech devices do you use?
My smartphone and laptop!

What is one device you can’t live without, and why?
My phone – it keeps me sane at work! With it, I am constantly connect to my friends on whatsapp and various forms social media. It keeps me happy and remind me that work is not the only thing in my life when things get hard!

What is the one tech tool that has helped you a lot in learning and accessing information, and why?
I think the internet has changed the way I do things. The way I access information has changed incredibly. Even simple things such as searching for the telephone number of a certain restaurant, the operating hours of the supermarket, lyrics of a song, travel itinerary recommendations, etc. I feel like the internet has connected the human race in some way or another. I cannot imagine flipping a thick Yellow pages book for the telephone number of a plumber or a restaurant. Just cannot imagine life without the WWW!

3 Onboarding Mistakes that Companies Make and How To Combat Them

epiviewThe primary goal for onboarding programmes in most companies is to get employees assimilated quickly into the company, to get them to perform at a substantial level of productivity in the shortest amount of time. This is essentially taking a new hire from zero to hero amidst the pressures created by limited resources, deadlines and KPIs.

Source: ToothpasteForDinner.com A "zero"employee.

Source: ToothpasteForDinner.com
A “zero” employee.

It’s a daunting task, which is difficult to execute effectively. This is evident by the many onboarding mistakes that happen sometimes even to the best companies.

Allow me to present to you 3 big mistakes that companies commit with their onboarding programmes.

Mistake #1 – Overloading

Trying to cover an extensive amount of company information in a day is not only ambitious but it’s also not very effective. When new employees are bombarded with information spanning from HR policies, to roles and responsibilities and to details of the company’s mission and vision on top of orientation information, there’s a lot of pressure placed on these new employees. And it’s most likely, that by the end of the day, they would have failed to retain most of the information.

Mistake #2 – Onboarding in a day

Programs that fail to extend the onboarding training beyond a couple of workshops might hurt the employees’ chances of assimilating properly into the company. An employee might not be able to retain everything he’s learnt in the workshops, and if there isn’t much support after the workshops have ended, then it could lead to more errors on the job and a longer time to productivity.

Mistake #3 – One-size-fits-all approach

Having a one-size-fits-all learning approach might seem to be the most cost-efficient way of transferring knowledge to new employees, however, it’s a critical mistake when the diversity of new hires are not taken into account. Different people learn differently, and ensuring that critical job-related information is imparted to them according to their needs at the start of their employment, will yield a greater return in the future.

The Online Solution

The 3 mistakes that I have mentioned can be tackled head on with online onboarding solutions:

1. Having all onboarding materials online

Simply having a digital equivalent for all onboarding content helps to overcome Mistakes #1 and #2. Firstly, online content can be assigned as a pre-reading before workshops. In this way, only the most critical points need to be covered in the face-to-face workshops. New employees get to digest the material better in workshops having accessed it before.

Secondly, having online content which is always accessible means employees can go through content they may have missed out earlier on. Having an online guide provides constant support to new employees and helps to remove the need for holding additional workshops. Not only that, this brings a component of e-learning called Just In Time (JIT) Learning, where content can be accessed easily (usually via mobile devices) as and when it is needed. Employees get to revisit the content when it is required of them.

2. Online onboarding for diverse learners

Online onboarding activities can be flexibly designed to take into account the needs of individual learners. For instance, new employees could take an online assessment before the workshops, and with the results instructors can pinpoint areas within the content that people struggle with and address these issues during the workshop. In this way, workshops can be more customised to the needs of the new employees. Additionally, there’s the potential for online content to be delivered in a more engaging manner and that takes into account the different ways that people process information. Online content creators have a rich variety of different forms of media that can be incorporated at their disposal, such as video demonstrations or re-enactments, scenario-based games, sound clips, interactive quizzes, animations and illustrations.

Can you think of other onboarding mistakes? Thought of a solution for them? Share them with us in the comments below.

Scenario-Based Learning in Corporate Training for Knowledge Application

epiviewRemember those lessons in school or some random class you had to take to fulfil some requirement you never thought would be required of you?

Well…truth is you probably don’t.

Not unless your superhero power is the ability to commit to memory every detail in your academic life. Which is a pity isn’t it? Because within the walls of classrooms and lecture halls so long ago, there was a huge bounty of knowledge carelessly floating above our heads, waiting to be absorbed and retained by our inquisitive minds.

knowledgeworker

Source: sarusinghal.com

Yet somehow, knowledge and learning meet roadblocks (boring lectures, information that just seemed irrelevant to my life, material that was too complex and too messy for me to understand) and roadblocks are just plain inconvenient to learning.

What could help us overcome these roadblocks? What would make us pay attention to information more, internalize it, understand the complexities and commit them to memory?

Well, I present you an old-new concept: Scenario-based Learning. More institutions and corporations are incorporating scenarios to teach skills for knowledge transfer on complex issues. But wait, it is also a new concept, when you are able to use tech to enhance the complexity of these scenario progressions.

What is Scenario-based Learning?

Scenario-based learning essentially places learners into a situation where they have to apply their knowledge and practice skills relevant to the situation.  There are many ways to design a scenario-based learning module. These are some of the things we observe when designing scenarios for our clients:

  • Create authentic situations which are relevant to the learners
  • Connect the situations to learning points that learners must understand
  • Ensure there is an accurate representation of the consequences
  • Provide opportunities to make realistic choices
  • Provide learners with individual feedback on their choices – what they did well, what they could have done better, and what went wrong.  

Why should we use scenarios?

When we place ourselves in a scenario and are challenged to apply our skills or knowledge, we are called to not only read content but analyse content, identify issues and solve problems. This helps learners:

  • accelerate expertise
  • increase interest and knowledge retention
  • become more motivated (But don’t take just take our word for it, that’s what the research says)

When is it best to use scenarios?

Scenarios can be used to teach many types of skills, behaviours and even theoretical matter (remember those case studies in university), but we find they can be especially powerful when learners have to apply knowledge or demonstrate certain behavioural or attitudinal skills in situations where the right thing to do is not so clear-cut. These grey areas provide great learning points because there is an inner struggle to make the right decision, or the best decision. When appropriate feedback is given to these kinds of decisions, learners learn the right thing to do even when they do the wrong thing. Here’s a quick breakdown of the learning process in a given scenario:

flowscenario
Scenario-based learning could just be the key to help us understand and solve challenges in a world that seems to be increasingly complex. Scenario-based learning can be applied in corporations across a range of activities- recruiting the right people through scenario assessment, e-learning programmes like on boarding modules, compliance training, law and ethics, workplace safety, etc. Scenarios don’t just help us recall knowledge, they help us apply them. Have you ever gone through a scenario-based module? Share your experience with us.

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illuminateWe provide customised solutions in Scenario Based E-learning for corporations through Illuminate, a corporate training game. If you are interested to get a quote or  hear more from us, drop us an email at illuminate@epiphanyedu.com.