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This is how you facilitate the context-related application in performance management courses

The context makes the meaning easier. And the meaning makes the online training experience more memorable for your learners in the company. When employees are able to apply what they have learned in a real-life context, they are more likely to spot mistakes and improve their skills. You can also connect all points in the mental scheme to strengthen existing knowledge and retain new information. It’s not just about putting things in context and hoping that employees will encounter similar situations or challenges at work. This approach also allows them to use their knowledge base and skills to tackle other tasks that are out of scope. Here are 7 top tips for promoting contextual application in performance management courses.

7 tips to promote practical application

1. Team building projects

Team building projects build teamwork and improve dynamism. But you also immerse the employees in a real environment that puts things in context. For example, they need to work with their colleagues to solve the problem and tackle the task. Cooperation and collaboration are crucial talents in the workplace. Employees need to play well with others and be able to communicate effectively in almost all aspects of their professional lives. In addition, team building projects provide an opportunity to collect eLearning feedback that can be used in performance management courses.

2. Simulations in the real world

It doesn’t get any more contextual than virtual simulations. It’s not about venturing into the workplace and learning from mistakes at work, which also threatens the company’s reputation. Using real simulations, employees can diagnose personal areas for improvements and skills gaps. For example, they find that their active listening and interpersonal skills are inadequate. Or that they cannot complete a task on time due to a lack of real-world experience. With the help of the online training simulations, they can not only evaluate their performance, but also acquire experience-based knowledge.

3. Anecdotes with self-reflection follow-up

Personal anecdotes and stories give employees an opportunity to learn firsthand how to use their online performance management training in context. Especially when it’s paired with self-reflection. Present an anecdote to employees that shows how certain performance behaviors or habits benefit them in the real world. Then ask them to think about how they have dealt with similar tasks or situations in the past. Are there mistakes that you can learn from? Unknown loopholes that you can use online microlearning resources to fill?

4. Self-assessments that focus on practicality and theoretical knowledge

Self-assessments help employees identify performance issues, especially when carried out in the form of qualitative assessments. For example, branching scenarios, online training simulations, or other interactive resources that focus on practicality rather than theory. In contextual learning, this is known as “authentic assessment”. It tests their ability to actually use their knowledge and skills to perform tasks instead of focusing on their memory skills. For example, the employee knows how to handle a sale or handle a customer complaint because he has memorized the step-by-step procedures. However, can they actually put their online training into practice, following the steps in the correct order, supported by the right skills?

5. Skill-based serious games

Games are often viewed as more fantastic or out of touch with reality. However, reputable games that focus on relevant skills can help employees improve performance and combine online training with realistic concepts. For example, each level tests their ability to solve a different customer service problem or task by applying their skills. You can even go a step further by incorporating gamification into your overall online performance management training strategy. Badges or points are awarded to employees who perform activities related to certain performance behaviors and demonstrate their skills. Not only does this make it easier to use in context by encouraging them to use their online training to get the best result, but it also boosts their motivation.

6. Branch scenarios that tie in with existing knowledge

In contextual application, existing knowledge is examined and linked to new concepts. Branch scenarios allow employees to draw on their knowledge base and apply what they have learned to give meaning to new ideas. For example, the branching scenario shows a difficult customer who wants to speak to a manager the second they walk through the door. It is the job of the staff to disperse the situation and try to reassure the customer themselves, as the problem falls into their professional role. You need to delve into your memory banks and mental scheme to determine which skills / information belong to the situation. Then build new experiences based on the current context. This is another diagnostic tool that they can use to find gaps for online performance management training courses to bridge them and gain more confidence in the job.

7. Complete solutions for cross-context tasks (hosted by employees)

One of the most common misconceptions about contextual application is that it has to relate to a specific situation or environment. However, you should also encourage employees to transfer their knowledge to new applications or real-world challenges. Invite them to host their own cross-context walkthroughs in which they can teach how certain skills or information can be used in novel ways. For example, see how IT troubleshooting knowledge can be applied across departments and help get things done that are out of context.


The contextual application moves your online training from theory to practice so that staff can translate it into the real world. They can also identify skill gaps and performance behaviors that they need to work on. Don’t just think about your previous achievements in order to learn from mistakes and continuously develop your talents. Use this article to make contextual use easier and to help your employees achieve their professional potential.

Are you looking for a learning management system to enhance your online performance management training program and make it easier to use in practice? You will find the most important LMS for personnel development in our online directory. You can narrow your results based on features, use cases, pricing models, and other key stakeholder sticking points.

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