In the days before digital, corporate training often conjured up images of boring one-sided presentations and disengaged audiences. Now that the digital era has arrived, trainers must learn to leverage new methods and technologies to make corporate training more effective—achieving enhanced learning outcomes by engaging and inspiring learners.
In search of new and better training tools, many corporate trainers have turned their attention to interactivity—the dialog that takes place between humans and computer software. By merging serious game-design thinking with interactive software, trainers are now able to leverage interactivity to create immersive, engaging and highly effective learning experiences for their employees.
If you’re looking for new tools and solutions to take employee learning and training to a whole new level, consider these six benefits of integrating interactivity in a corporate training strategy.
1. Enhanced Learning Environment
Interactivity strategies utilize interactive training software to allow employees to explore their learning environment—in their own way and at their own pace. In this environment employees will also be shown directly how to do things, a learning tactic that brings far better results than telling employees what to do.
The most successful training companies use graphical environments that are similar to the daily life situations—office, factory, etc.—of the employee learners. They also integrate visual components that make the content more eye-catching and encourage exploration of the training module by embedding hyperlinks to other pages that learners might find interesting. The net result of this enhanced environment is a better overall learning experience.
2. Improved Decision-Making
Through the use of scenario questions and simulations, interactivity allows employee learners to apply knowledge and make decisions in a risk-free non-judgmental environment. By removing the fear of failure, learners are free to formulate action plans by exploring unpredictable paths that lead to unknown outcomes. This type of experiential learning can help individuals gain valuable insights, from both their successes and failures—insights that invariably lead to better on-the-job decision-making and the performance of complex tasks.
3. Reinforcement Through Feedback
An interactive training/learning platform requires employees to respond to what they are learning. This forces them to integrate the learning content with their own unique way of thinking as they stop to reflect on the answer they should give or the path they should choose. Once the choice is made, the learner receives feedback to help them recognize what they know versus what they should know. At the same time, interactive software gives trainers the ability to assess the performance of individual learners spontaneously, and in real time.
As an employee moves through the learning process, immediate feedback reinforces what they have learned and helps to steer them toward making better choices without compelling them to do so, as is often the case with traditional training and learning techniques.
4. Higher Levels of Engagement
Interactivity software integrated with serious game-design thinking doesn’t just present learning content. It immerses learners in the content and gives them control over the learning process. As a result, learning experiences become more vivid, stories more powerful, and questions more provocative. That all adds up to high levels of engagement than could never be achieved in a traditional classroom setting. Better engagement translates into better learning outcomes.
5. Greater Retention Rates
Studies show that a higher level of engagement during training activities results in greater retention and recall of knowledge on the part of the learner. And interactivity strategies such as the use of multimedia elements, real-world scenarios, and even basic achievement levels and badges can help to transform the most mundane training modules into engaging, thought-provoking and memorable learning experiences.
6. More Motivated Learners
One of the biggest challenges corporate trainers face today is motivating employees to participate in the learning/training process. This is especially daunting for organizations whose training tools and strategies have failed to leverage the technologies that their employees are using every day in their personal lives. To motivate today’s learners who think nothing of playing video games with people all over the world, streaming videos on demand, connecting with others anywhere and anytime—all via a smartphone or other mobile device— takes a lot more than having them click “next” during a training exercise to keep them motivated and engaged.
Convenience is a big contributor to motivation. And making quality interactive online training content available on a mobile platform can be a game changer for trainers. Armed with the ability to access training modules on their mobile devices and participate from anywhere, at the time of their choosing, today’s busy employees will be much more motivated to connect with the learning module and enjoy an engaging, thought provoking, satisfying and successful interactive training experience.