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How Scenario-Based E-Learning Affects the Bottom Line

E-learning offers ample opportunities for learners to practice tasks and gain experience in a controlled setting—without disrupting work. Check out these examples.

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5 min read
Tom Kuhlman blog post

Why prioritize practice

When it comes to training, our goal is to help learners become more expert at a given task. E-learning offers many benefits by providing ample opportunities for learners to practice specific tasks and gain the necessary experience.

In my approach to building training programs, I prioritize offering learners extensive practice opportunities. This involves breaking down tasks, identifying the most challenging aspects, and developing simulations or scenarios that allow learners to repeatedly engage with these tasks. The more they engage, the more they get to practice making decisions and receive feedback.

Building a controlled learning lab

For instance, when I developed a training program for a fast-paced production environment, we noticed that only experienced machine operators got to do certain tasks and that limited access to critical tasks was delaying new operators’ growth in performance. 

To address this issue, we created a controlled learning lab where these tasks were isolated from the regular production flow. This allowed us to provide plenty of simulations and hands-on practice at their own pace until they achieved fluency. 

This was all before the world of e-learning. So we had to take a machine offline which meant lost productivity whenever we did training. Things would have been different if we had access to e-learning.

The beauty of e-learning

The beauty of e-learning is that it liberates us from real-world constraints and allows us to offer unlimited opportunities for practice and feedback without disrupting actual work processes. Imagine if we had put that production training online – it would have provided consistent learning experiences unaffected by daily workflow variations while offering even more interactive activities than the physical lab did.

E-learning scenarios also offer a safe space for making mistakes and receiving constructive feedback – something crucial in developing expertise without real-world consequences. Furthermore, e-learning significantly reduces training costs by replicating real-life experiences without material expenses or operational disruptions. This is something that definitely impacts the bottom line.

A friend of mine designed an e-learning program for operating room technicians. Before switching to online training, they had to book a real operating room and bear all the setup and sterilization costs, not to mention the disruption it caused to actual patient care. By moving most of the training online, they were able to craft scenarios and practice everything multiple times without any real-world constraints. This shift not only saved them money but also eliminated potential risks in emergency situations.

The benefits of practice

An example illustrating these benefits is demonstrated by David Anderson’s proof of concept for a restaurant’s table-setting practices—showcasing how material costs are eliminated while offering plentiful chances for practical exercises compared to traditional methods reliant on actual setups during limited hours. 

Compared to traditional training, e-Learning not only accelerates skill development it also decreases material costs and is less disruptive to the organization’s real work. Let’s see: faster, less expensive, no disruption to the work day. These are things that definitely contribute to the bottom line and the organization’s success.

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5 min read

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