Effective Use of Simulations in Custom Elearning Development – You’re Doing it Wrong


Are you using simulations in custom eLearning development, but feeling frustrated because your efforts don’t seem to be having the desired impact? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many organizations have adopted simulations as part of their custom eLearning development process, only to discover that they’re not getting the results they had hoped for. In this blog post, we’ll explore why this might be the case, and how you can use simulations effectively in custom eLearning development.


What is a simulation?

A simulation is an interactive learning experience that allows learners to explore complex processes or systems in a safe environment. It is an artificial environment that resembles the real world, allowing learners to gain a better understanding of how certain things work without actually having to risk personal or financial loss. Simulations can be used in different areas of learning such as science, mathematics, engineering, business and finance. They can also be used for training purposes, such as pilot and medical simulations. 

Simulations are designed to replicate real-world scenarios and provide hands-on practice for learners. The use of simulations can help learners develop critical thinking skills, improve problem-solving abilities, increase decision-making speed and accuracy, and gain valuable knowledge and experience in an engaging way. They can be used to teach both concrete and abstract concepts, allowing learners to gain a deeper understanding of how something works. 

What are the different types of simulations?

Simulations are a great way to engage learners and give them an interactive experience that allows them to apply their knowledge. Simulations can be broadly classified into two main types: physical and digital simulations. 

Physical simulations involve the use of actual physical materials, such as models or toys, which are manipulated by the learner in order to complete a task or learn a concept. Physical simulations can be used to teach science concepts, such as molecules, DNA replication, and cell division, or to teach engineering principles, such as building bridges or designing robots. 


Digital simulations are computer-based and often feature interactive visuals, animation, and/or sound. These simulations typically involve virtual 3D environments and allow learners to interact with objects, navigate through menus, manipulate controls, and more. Digital simulations can be used to teach concepts in areas like engineering, architecture, physics, geography, and medicine. 

In addition to these two main types of simulations, there are also hybrid simulations that combine physical and digital elements. These hybrids often feature both physical objects and a digital interface, such as a smartphone app or website, and can be used to teach a variety of topics.

What are the benefits of simulations?

Simulations are becoming increasingly popular in custom elearning development because of the potential to provide learners with an immersive, real-world experience. Simulations can provide learners with an opportunity to practice and hone their skills, as well as expand their knowledge. They are also beneficial because they provide a safe environment in which to make mistakes without any real-life consequences.

Simulations can be used to teach a variety of topics, from soft skills like communication and problem solving, to complex technical concepts. Additionally, simulations can help bridge gaps in training by connecting theory to practice.


What are some guidelines for effective use of simulations?

Simulations can be an incredibly powerful tool for custom elearning development, but there are some key considerations to keep in mind when incorporating them into your course. Here are some general guidelines to help you get the most out of your simulation-based learning: 

1. Start simple. Keep your simulations short and straightforward. If your audience isn’t already familiar with the concepts, they won’t be able to comprehend a complex simulation. Start with basic concepts and build up as learners become more familiar with the material.

2. Make the outcomes meaningful. Give learners feedback on their performance in a way that encourages reflection and improvement. If the outcome of a simulation is vague, learners won’t be motivated to do better next time. 

What are some examples of simulations?

Simulations are a powerful way to engage learners and bring content to life. There are many different types of simulations that can be used in custom elearning development, ranging from simple drag and drop games to more complex 3D environments.

One example of a simple simulation is a drag and drop game. In this type of simulation, users are presented with an image or other visual element which they can drag and drop into designated areas on the screen. This type of simulation can be used to teach people about a range of topics such as problem solving, organization, process mapping, or even business processes.

Another type of simulation commonly used in custom elearning development is a virtual environment. This type of simulation allows users to explore a 3D world or interactive environment. It can be used to simulate a physical location or create a virtual world for learning about a particular topic or subject matter. For example, a virtual environment could be used to learn about complex engineering systems or explore the inner workings of a manufacturing plant.