The Praescient Analytics training team has changed our approach to new hire training, replacing the requirement to produce a demonstration of our partner platforms with a requirement to produce a scenario-based practical exercise. This method is a vast improvement over previous iterations of our training course because it is more relevant, more empowering, and more effective.
Creating a scenario-based practical exercise is the most relevant training for future Field Service Representatives (FSRs). A demo merely consists of showcasing what the platform is capable of and often comes with very little explanation of how it is being done. Scenario-based practical exercises are an excellent way to teach students the power of the platform in the context of a compelling and relevant story. Training our new hires in this practice enables them to be better trainers when they move on to their various deployments.
Practical exercises serve as force multipliers for FSRs, allowing them to achieve more with less effort. Scenario-based practical exercises enable new users to acquire knowledge about the platform on their own with tailored, self-directed course materials. This training can be done remotely, as long as the user has access to the same data for which the exercise was designed. Trainers can challenge users by facilitating difficult exercises and holding contests awarding students who achieve objectives.
Scenario-based practical exercises are a more effective training method than a demo or even a well-crafted, stand-alone lecture. According to John Richardson, Extension Specialist of Educational Programs at North Carolina State University, writing in the Journal of Extension, “Learning theory and research have consistently concluded that learning opportunities providing a chance to ‘do’ or experience the educational input result in higher learning gains and retention.” Scenario-based practical exercises teach through “doing,” placing the task in the context of a challenge related to students’ day-to-day jobs. This practice gives students the opportunity to experience the power of the technology in a highly relevant way.
Scenario-based practical exercises are more relevant, more empowering, and more effective than simply having students create demos. They effectively teach new hires how to train others, allows them to train more people with less effort, and demonstrates methods to help their future students to actively experience their training, rather than just be passive receivers.
 John G. Richardson, Learning Best Through Experience, Journal Of Extension, Vol 32, No 2, Aug 1994, http://www.joe.org/joe/1994august/a6.php