If you read current literature on training, one of the things you’ll read about a lot is scenario-based training. This goes by other names, too, including immersive learning and problem-based learning. For this article, we’re going to stick with scenario-based training.
No matter what you call it, there’s a reason why people talk about it a lot. Because it’s an effective way to learn. Within the context of job training, scenario-based training has a couple big advantages. These include:
- Making compliance training more active, fun, engaging, and effective
- Reducing the amount of time it takes for an employee to develop expertise in his or her job (moving employee from basic, foundational job knowledge and skills to advanced skills that create value for the company)
- Providing a safe learning environment in which employees can practice and learn from mistakes without harming themselves, machines, or business goals
This article will at least touch on all three of those points. But we’re going to focus on how scenario-based training can reduce the amount of time it takes for an employee to develop advanced job skills and become an expert in his or her field.
Typically, employees become experts simply through years of on-the-job experience. For example, our customers in the paper manufacturing industry tell us it commonly takes as much as 20 years for an employee to develop the job expertise necessary to operate a paper machine. And since many of those current job experts are nearing retirement, there’s a need to train a new generation and get them up to speed much more quickly than in 20 years. And that’s where scenario-based learning can really help any workplace.
Along the way, we’re going to be focusing our lessons from a book by Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark. And we’ll also provide some examples and helpful resources from other influential writers on workforce L&D, including Anna Sabramowicz, Cathy Moore, and Christy Tucker. Hats off to all of them, and please do check out their work and articles.