Integrating learning->practice LO5661
Thu, 15 Feb 1996 18:01:23 -0500

Replying to LO5565 --

I have had no experience working computer-mediated simulations into the
actual workplace. However, I have been involved in a number of instances
where computer-mediated and other types of simulations were used to train
work groups/teams. These intact work groups were put through their paces
in a simulation which mirrored as closely as possible their regular,
"real-life" jobs and interactions. This training was then followed up by
application in just such a "real-life" situation.

The trick isn't necessarily putting the simulations into the actual
workplace, although that would greatly enhance their effectiveness. The
effectiveness of these techniques has more to do with the training of
intact work groups which will then apply that knowledge together back in
their work place.

What is often attempted in training sessions using simulations is the
forging of a cohesive group out of a variety of participants who will
likely either never see each other or work together in such a fashion
again. This type of training enhances the participants education, but it
does little to transfer that knowledge into actual practice in the
workplace because the other participants didn't learn those techniques.
If the training is a standard corporate offering, co-workers MAY have been
exposed to the techniques and even have learned them during that session.
But they didn't learn the "stuff," and actually make it work, with their
co-workers. This subtle aspect of training is so often overlooked that it
is no wonder that training organizations have such a hard time proving
that they make a real difference and provide Return On Investment (ROI)
for training budgets.

Clyde Howell
The Howell Group
Aiken, South Carolina

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