Simulation allows learners to practice dangerous scenarios that would otherwise be impossible to duplicate in real life. Making a mistake in the virtual world doesn’t have the same consequences as real life. Simulations can replicate perilous or risky situations, allowing learners to train and master procedures, so once in the real world they are better prepared for the situation. The risk to hurting themselves, co-workers, job sites or machines are greatly reduced because of knowledge gained during simulations. What would happen if the brakes failed on a haul truck; a loaded bucket was carried too high; or a machine went over a berm on a highwall? Catastrophe if the operator hadn’t already raced those scenarios in a simulation.
Simulation training is highly successful when it comes to engaging learners and teaching how to perform tasks, techniques, or processes. The ability to train multiple people in the same way, expose them to real-world situations in the safety of the virtual environment, makes simulation training an efficient and effective choice for organizations. Training in the virtual world gives the learner an opportunity to experience real-world scenarios, get immediate feedback, and gain knowledge of what to do in each situation. The learner organizes information and in turn builds a “mental model.” When faced with the same situation in real life the learner has mental cues filed away for reference. The learner has been in the virtual situation and can apply training from the virtual environment to a real-life scenario.