by Barb Nash
In one of my previous blog posts, 7 Component Considerations to Consider to Make the Most of PLM eLearning, I introduced Software Simulations as one of the eLearning components to consider. The benefits of practicing a PLM process over and over again without needing to use a Test, Training or Production database environment sounds great, doesn’t it? But you may be wondering what will the learner be shown when practicing these steps? The answer can depend on the complexity of the process, learners' existing knowledge of the process, your company’s preferences, and feedback from learners. In this blog I will show you 5 possible software simulation scenarios.
1. GUIDE ME WITH CALLOUTS, STEP-BY-STEP
This first scenario shows the steps of a process using callouts detailing the action to perform. The action could be clicking an icon, selecting a menu or entering text. You can perform the steps as quickly or as slowly as you like. It also provides a quick way of reviewing a process, very similar to a video but you have the choice to actually perform the steps or use the playbar buttons, such as the forward and back buttons to get to the point in the process that you want to review. You can include as much or as little text in the callouts as you like, or think is required. It is also recommended to add separate notes throughout to emphasize key concepts.
2. GUIDE ME WITH A HINT WHEN I NEED IT
Using hints is a start to allowing the learner to think first before attempting an action. You can set up hints to display on rollover of the correct location or by clicking in an incorrect location, for example.
3. GUIDE ME WITH A CALLOUT AFTER A DEFINED NUMBER OF ATTEMPTS
This scenario is designed to allow the learner to perform the process by themselves by providing only required information. If the learner is unsuccessful after a defined number of attempts, at that point they can be shown a callout or hint. Using variables allows the learner to enter any text when prompted and that text can be used later in the simulation.
4. GUIDE ME WITH A PERMANENTLY DISPLAYED REFERENCE
The permanently displayed reference can be in a form of Task steps with two examples shown in the images below. It can not only act as a reference of what to do at the current step highlighted but also provides a way to navigate or jump to particular steps. It also acts as a big picture view of where you are in the entire process.
5. CUSTOMIZED SCENARIO
A customized scenario means that your software simulation could be a combination of two or more of the scenarios listed above, or something completely customized that you think would best fit with your process and company’s learning environment.
In summary, this list is just a start of what is possible when designing software simulations to help learners practice their process or workflow steps before doing so on their production PLM system. All scenarios are supported across any device including tablets and phones to help with mobile learning initiatives. If you have a scenario that you’d like to share I would love to hear about it!