A resource for safe, effective and measurable learning from the leaders in simulation training.
Welcome back once again, Troubleshooters! Thanks for joining us today on TST. If you’ve visited us here in the past couple of months, you may know that we’ve been doing a series of posts on what to look for in a training solution. If you’re the observant type, you’ll have noticed that we are on part 9 of our series, regarding measurable learning.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…
We usually do a little series recap at this point, but since we’ve done this eight times already (at the risk of sounding like a broken record), feel free to skip to the next section if you’ve heard this before!
For those of you just tuning in, we began this series with a list of the Top 11 things you absolutely need to think about when you’re evaluating a potential training solution. Then, we began looking at each of those items in depth: value, professional development opportunities, ease of implementation and access, proven track record, completeness, scalability, varying degrees of difficulty, ease of procurement, and focus on safety. (click on the link to read Part 1 of the series AKA “What to look for in a training solution.)
Today we’re looking at our second-last criterion, measurable learning.
Decisions in the time of data
There’s no doubt we’re living in the era of data. Data is has become part of the fabric of our lives. Everything is digitized. On the consumer side, everything from our thermostats to our social interactions has gone digital. Just about all aspects of business have, too, from human resources to communications to manufacturing processes. With this digital transformation has come a wealth of new data sources. In recent years, enterprises have begun to embrace data-driven decision-making, because the numbers don’t lie.
In the age of Industry 5.0, organizations that want to beat the competition have to find new sources of data and unlock previously hidden value. This will involve total digital transformation; in other words, digitizing everything and using the resulting data to find opportunities to leverage data and squeeze out extra value.
Measurability of a training program
This means businesses need to look at every aspect of their operations—from design and engineering to production to training—to find new opportunities to collect, analyze, and benefit from data.
When we speak of measurable learning, we are talking about the ability of the administrator to easily monitor employees’ performance in a quantifiable way as they progress through the program, to measure their current performance against past performance to detect improvement, to measure their success on various kinds of problems to see where they need more practice, and to measure the trainees against one another.
Benefits of measurable learning:
- Removes instructor bias, intuition, gut feelings, and guesswork from the equation. It allows administrators to make decisions based on hard data. This is important when the stakes are high, such as when training for dangerous jobs.
- Provides deep insight into how well trainees are mastering the material. A well-designed computer-based training solution will track the kind of questions that students get wrong, so that admins know where the mental blocks are for that individual. For example, Simutech Multimedia tracks the length of time it takes for a student to solve a particular kind of fault, and how many attempts it takes them to solve the problem, and how expensive their ultimate solution is. So even if a trainee ultimately solves the fault, the admin will know whether or not they were able to do it efficiently.
- Allows for more strategic training. Insights like the above mean that students may not need to repeat an entire unit, but that additional training can be focused on those areas of weakness where additional practice is needed. It’s a better use of employee training time, which is one of the most expensive aspects of training.
- Helps admins tell whether students are retaining the new knowledge. Performance on periodic refresher tests can be compared against past performance to determine whether trainees have retained what they learned and whether they need maintenance training.
- Is particularly crucial for training large numbers of students. Administrators who are overseeing the training of dozens or even hundreds of staff can instantly generate custom training reports that quickly bring them up to speed on how everyone is progressing, saving hours of valuable admin time and allowing for larger numbers to be trained at once.
- Increases productivity. Measurable learning allows management to compare trainees, identify the star performers, and deploy them where it really matters.
So, to sum up, when you’re evaluating a potential training solution, be sure to ask about the kind of trainee data it collects, how it is analyzed and made available to the administrator, and how it can be leveraged to increase training efficiency.
And that’s it, Troubleshooters. Tune in next week for our final blog in this series as we look at the last criterion on our list of what to look for in a training solution: support.
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