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Capturing the energy of face-to-face simulations in synchronous, virtual sessions

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As the corporate world adapts to a huge increase in global remote working, Learning and Development has also rapidly accelerated the adoption of virtual training.

Online learning has been around in various forms for many years. But face-to-face, classroom-style training workshops have still accounted for many training hours around the globe.

One of the key benefits of face-to-face training has always been the social, networking opportunities of person-to-person interaction during the sessions. Business simulation experiences have been popular with participants as they enjoy the competitive aspect of competing against each other in real-time scenarios to see which team will come out on top.

When delivering training digitally, it is still possible to create this competitive, real-time energy with participants from all over the world, without them leaving home. Virtual business simulations can be run in two ways:

  1. A-synchronous

In these sessions, the entire learning group comes together for an initial virtual briefing session. This kick-off meeting covers how the simulation will run, key learning objectives and some of the learning theories embedded in the simulation, as well as practicalities such as teams and timings. Each smaller team of participants, usually of 3-5 individuals, then completes the simulation in their own time. The entire group comes back together at the end for a debrief session. During this debrief, the training leader reveals the results of the simulation as well as analyses the key learnings from how each team worked together to achieve their objectives, and how these learnings can be applied to the workplace. This approach is particularly effective with training groups in opposite time zones and with differing work schedules.

  1. Synchronous

During synchronous sessions, the entire group comes together for a brief and debrief as above. But the key difference is that all the smaller teams complete the simulation at the same time, as they would in a face-to-face situation. This creates the same level of energy, buzz and enthusiasm as the face-to-face experience, with teams competing directly against each other in a healthy atmosphere of competition. Real-time results and leaderboards are reported to all the groups at reflective points during the session so that participants can learn from not just the experience of their own group, but all those around them. The learning experience becomes more memorable and exciting as it unfolds during the event.

As organisations around the world embrace the ‘new normal’, discovering new ways of building team connection is just as important as finding new ways of accommodating employees in socially distanced offices. Synchronous simulation sessions can be highly effective not just for learning and development, but as an overall morale booster in challenging times to bring people together in a fun and engaging way, wherever they are in the world.

“It was fab to watch the simulation virtually, I strongly feel that the participants lost nothing in terms of experience by adapting the approach and I was really impressed with how smoothly everything went.” Becky Lowe, Head of Talent Acquisition, CMS

At Ososim we help organisations to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Working in over 85 countries with major global companies, as well as government institutions, leading business schools and non-profit organisations, our digital learning experiences enable individuals, teams and companies to perform at their best.

To find out more about our virtual business simulations please contact us on +44 (0)1223 421 034 or email