March 2023
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TD Magazine

Make Learning Real With Simulations

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Do your homework to create a great experience for end users.

From augmented reality to virtual reality to gamification, there are many ways to help learners experience the material they need to master. In "Simulations: Learning Lived Out," Tristia Hennessey shares another means: simulations, which are experiential learning tools that imitate a situation or process and enable participants to learn by doing. Hennessey focuses on scalable digital simulations and calls out their effectiveness as part of a blended learning solution. With digital simulations, L&D professionals can provide training when it is convenient for learners.


Hennessey reminds readers to keep their audience, budget, and timeline in mind when creating simulations. Needs will vary depending on the learners. She also advises considering how tech savvy users are. "If you're throwing too many screen options, a busy interface, or cutting-edge tech at individuals who aren't accustomed to that, then you may lose some of your audience entirely," Hennessey writes.

Budget and timeline will determine how simple or complex the simulation design can be. Hennessey states that stakeholders may underestimate how long it takes to develop a complex digital simulation. Further, she writes, "Determine your workflow before you start development." Hennessey suggests that readers may be able to use tools they currently have access to, such as Camtasia or Storyline, to create their simulation.

She also advises securing buy-in from the C-suite and learners. L&D professionals will need to market their simulation to both groups, only in different ways.

These tips were adapted from the March 2023 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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