Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2015 - (Page 15)
- KAR L M. KAPP, Ed .D.
TOOLS IN LEARNING
In 2009, Captain Chesley Burnett "Sully"
Sullenberger successfully landed a
disabled commercial airliner on the
Hudson River, saving all 155 lives on
board. One of the elements he attributed
to being able to make that difficult water
landing was the amount of time he spent
training in flight simulators. Sully and
other pilots have the option to practice
all types of emergency situations while
sitting safely on the ground in a flight
expressions and conversations. The
learner can enter into the simulation many
different times with different scenarios and
practice under many types of conditions.
BRANCHING SOCIAL SIMULATORS
A SOCIAL SIMULATOR
CAN PLAY A VALUABLE
ROLE IN TEACHING SOFT
A common application of a social simulator
is to create a branching simulation. This
approach allows the learner to select an
answer from one of several presented and
observe the reaction and feedback of the
character with whom they are interacting.
Sometimes this is done with pre-recorded
video snippets to match the answer
choices and other times it is done with
The ability to safely practice in a simulated
environment is the same idea behind the
concept of a "social simulator." What a
social simulator accomplishes for critical
employee training, the fight simulator
accomplished for Captain Sullenberger.
It provides a safe environment where
mistakes become teaching opportunities
and false steps or lapses of judgment
don't result in disaster.
The branching social simulator is an
excellent tool for helping new learners
with an intermediate level of soft skill
knowledge understand how to apply
the skills. The social simulator can record
answers and give feedback to the learner.
However, because answer choices are
listed for the learner, once they have a
higher level of experience or knowledge
with the soft skill, a branching social
simulator is not as effective.
A social simulator can play a valuable role
in teaching soft skills, such as leadership
or negotiation skills. It's a learning
environment where employees can
interact with simulated characters through
the observations of body language, facial
skill. Since a virtual world is inhabited
with avatars controlled by other humans
the branching logic can be infinite. The
learner doesn't have to choose from a
pre-determined list, but can provide any
answer or ask a question if they wish.
As the learner moves within the simulated
world from a shop floor to a customer's
place of business, avatars add a sense of
presence and offer realism from gesturing
to maintaining the proper distance for
personal space. Avatars can visually
respond to the learner and can show
emotions and feelings as a response to
learned actions and conversations. Often
the simulated exchange can be recorded
for future debrief and review.
BENEFITS OF SOCIAL SIMULATORS
VIRTUAL WORLD SOCIAL SIMULATORS
The branching and virtual world social
simulators enable the learner to
repeatedly practice in a safe environment.
This allows the learner to deeply discover
and test hypotheses related to their own
soft skills. They can then effortlessly apply
those skills in a real-world situation, just
as Captain Sullenberger did when landing
on the Hudson.
Using a virtual world as a basis of
a social simulator is more effective
for learners who have a high level of
knowledge related to applying the soft
Karl M. Kapp, Ed.D., is a professor of instructional
technology at Bloomsburg University, author
of six books and the Lynda.com course
"Gamification of Learning." Email Karl.
T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - SPRING20 1 5 I WWW.TRAIN INGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2015
Soft Skills Make Up Vital Part of Corporate Training
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Leadership: The Artichoke Effect
Focusing on Mindsets and Attitudes
The Importance of Soft Skills For Trainers
Social Simulators Bring Training to Life
The Power of Storytelling in Organizational Development
Leading Change with Resilience
Why Perspective Selling Makes Sense
Harnessing the Power of Teamwork
Collaborate to Innovate: Building an Innovation-Friendly Business Culture
Are You Using the Best Metrics to Evaluate Your Skills Training?
Influencing into the Future
Culture: The Enemy at the Gate of Innovation
Casebook: T-Mobile: Answering the Call for Leadership Development
Leadership is an Inside Job
Vendor Selection Tips for Corporate Sales Training
Checking Your Motivation to Lead
The Real ROI of Leadership Training: Soft Skills Lead to Hard Results
Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2015