Learning a new skill usually takes practice — sometimes, lots of it.  For some skills, people need to practice in a safe place before applying them on the job.

Consider what it takes to learn to fly a plane.  You wouldn’t want the pilot practicing their flying skills for the first time on your flight!  They need a lot of practice in a safe, simulated environment before they ever attempt to fly a real plane.  The same holds true for employees who will be required to use new technology to do their jobs.  When it goes live, you don’t want their first time with the system to impact the business.

So you need a safe space. That usually means a training environment or system simulation. Which one should you use to let users practice? Here are some pros and cons of each:

Pros and cons of environmental training and simulation training

So, how will you know which solution is best?  These questions might help you decide:

How to select a system training environment

This should help you ask the right questions and evaluate the unique needs of your project.  At the end of the day, it’s all about making it as real as possible for the learner and ensuring they can “fly that plane” when it really counts!