Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2015 - (Page 15)

- KAR L M. KAPP, Ed .D. TOOLS IN LEARNING SOCIAL SIMULATORS BRING TRAINING TO LIFE 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 simulator. 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 SKILLS. 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 animated characters. 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 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 15

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
Closing Deals
Company News
What's Online
Training Talk

Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2015