To fulfill Edgar Dale’s promise, the following is necessary: a focused experience-based training in skillset (what to do in the key moment) and mindset (principles to consider at the key moment). How can we do that?
First, let’s talk about the experience-based part: paying attention to two phenomena, called simulated experience and presence. Virtual reality technology (VRT) today makes it possible to produce simulations that are sufficiently realistic. In the learning context, sufficiently means: The brain can no longer distinguish between simulated experiences and real experiences. This is possible when clever use is made of VRT, psychology and staging techniques to simulate truly credible scenarios. Presence is the feeling of being there, in this case in the reality of simulation: a feeling that is hard to understand for someone who has not experienced virtual reality in a truly high-quality application.
Experience-based learning: we make experiences in simulated space, the brain saves them as real experiences, and thus, even without actual activity in the real world, employees become truly experienced. Let’s take the previous example – that of pharmaceutical production. Here, many details in the training design play important roles – from the right amount of tension to the accurate implementation of a meaningful learning environment. These and many other details lead to the aforementioned focus of such training – in simulation, we can decide what is experienced, and the trainee only experiences what is really necessary to learn a skill; without any distraction.