People learn in different ways. Some like to watch, others prefer to read and some learn best by listening. And some just don’t get it at all unless they can interact with the product or process – they actually have to do it in order to absorb the information.
Take lectures. Even with an exceptional lecturer, a long session can become boring and attention begins to drift. Hence the need, from time to time, to draw attention back by making the audience participate, rather than just listen. Better still, if they have to select the right answer from a number of options, they really have to think about which is best – and this fully engages the mind. You can see the effect on peoples faces – “Oh, I have to do something, I’d better pay attention”.
When it comes to training, industrialists may think that they are ahead of other sectors – but there are examples of excellence everywhere. For example, in the medical world, trainee doctors and nurses aren’t let loose on patients unless they pass a range of stringent, formal, observed tests on how to perform medical procedures.
These are done in a realistic setting, scrutinised by eagle-eyed senior consultants who will not pass the pupil unless they do the test in the right order and exactly the right way. Its very expensive – with high fail rates and mandatory re-sits required.
So immersive simulations tools (interactive animations) were developed to allow students to learn these procedures remotely, in advance, 24/7, from anywhere in the world. Sometimes they’re not even allowed to try the live procedure unless they perform well with the simulation. Result: a far higher first time pass rate, happier students – and less cost.
These products deliberately approached the subject from several angles – including step-sorter tests (put the operational steps in the correct order), immersive simulations and randomised quizzes – a multiple approach that ensured that we got the training across with maximum re-inforcement.
Better still, when embedded on a learning platform with individual student ID, you can track which trainees accessed the tools, how often, how well they scored – or trigger the issue of automated “you are now ready to take the formal training course” messages.
So, industrialists, take a tip from the public sector. Interactive tools can improve the quality of learning, minimise fail-rates, cut costs – and provide an audit trail, too.