What makes an eLearning experience truly immersive? The award-winning Akamai Professional Sales Training offers some insight. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the features and benefits of immersive eLearning.
Akamai helps companies optimize their customers’ online experience through improved website performance, security, and cloud services. The goal of this training was to bring Akamai’s sales partners up to speed on effective sales techniques, such as networking within the buyer’s organization, crafting appropriate solutions, and generating the correct price.
The eLearning solution our team created demonstrates that in highly technical industries, giving employees the information they need is no longer enough. Learners need to be able to walk through real on-the-job processes, utilizing resources and actively making decisions. The art of instructional design lies in building this experience into a flow of diverse media, balancing information with interaction, and helping the learner understand what they stand to gain from completing the course.
Why Immersive Learning Courses Win Awards
The Akamai Professional Sales Training received both a Telly Award and an Omni Award, which recognize outstanding work in the eLearning industry. You can check out some of our many other award-winning courses here. For now, let’s take a closer look at the Akamai course to see why it earned so much attention.
To simulate the sales process, AllenComm designed a series of immersive scenarios in which the learner interacts with stakeholders and determines which Akamai platform will provide the best solution. Let’s look at an example.
In the first module, Web Performance, the learner follows a sales manager, Andy Watts, as he meets with representatives of a European lifestyle website called HauteStyle.
- First, the learner reads background information on HauteStyle, their online presence, pain points, and company goals
- Next, they decide which stakeholders to contact about different aspects of the solution
- After conducting a series of interactive audio conversations, the learner then uses the information they’ve gathered to select the most appropriate solution
- Finally, they practice using a pricing sheet to determine the cost of the solution
Throughout this experience, the learner is guided by videos, motion graphics, quizzes, and resources, and conclude with a self-assessment.
Successful Immersive Learning Strategies
Why was this approach so effective for Akamai? There are a few reasons, each based on a tried principle of instructional design.
Because the course is designed to resemble a real sales experience, the learner has to think on their feet and make nuanced decisions. Names, faces, details, and realistic challenges all increase the learner’s retention and help them understand how the training will have immediate benefits on the job.
Games and game-like activities can boost learner motivation. In this case, the challenge and reward of interacting with customers and choosing a solution help learners to feel invested in making the right decision.
The training consists of numerous short scenarios like the example above. Short, self-sufficient lessons keep learners attention and allow them to practice applying skills repeatedly.
Videos, such as a motion graphic introducing the learner to Akamai’s performance solutions, are an entertaining and memorable way to instill new information. They also offer the learner a short break from the other mental tasks of the course.
The Akamai Professional Sales Training received awards based on the quality of its messaging, execution, and overall learner experience. Because sales partners are able to practice realistic interactions and make sophisticated decisions, the relevance of the training to their daily work is clear and immediate. As improved technology and design allows for greater immersion through eLearning, we continue to look for ways to bring corporate training closer to real life.