Improved Retention in Training

Interactive simulators in trainings to increase engagement, with Mettl.

Industry/Use Case


    A staffing company specialized in placing temporary employees in marketing and creative industries, tried to implement a learning and development program to all their employees.

    Founded in 1986 as a typesetting business, this company is among the largest marketing & creative staffing firms in the United States, and has grown substantially and entered new business areas through acquisitions.At a time when most college students are not ready to hit the ground running and tackle challenging real world problems, digital training programs sounds like a life-saver.

    In fact, all major companies have a training and development program of their own, tailored to the requirements of the company. In a mission to train their employees, they also started developing their own learning and development program.



    A 2012-2013 study conducted by MIT and Harvard revealed an overwhelming 95 percent of students dropped their online training programs before completion, a rate substantially higher than traditional education’s dropout rates. This number is worrying to any company investing in an L&D program simply because of the adverse effects it has on the return on investment of the program. As they went ahead with implementing the learning and development program, they were faced with two difficult questions:

    1. How could they improve the engagement of the learning and development program?

    2. Was the learning and development program worth the investment?

    Extended research into the cause of low engagement led to interesting but predictable results – There is no engagement – be it social, or cognitive

    1. An online learning program completely does away with the idea of engagement, thus affecting retention and practical knowledge
    2. There are no live instructors to help facilitate the classes, lectures or content.
    3. There is also no straight-and-narrow path from beginning-to-end and the format does not encourage the exchange of different thoughts and ideas among learners.

    And so they set out to look for various ways of increasing engagement in their learning and development program.

    Coursera tackled this problem by introducing a time-limited session format. In a time-limited session format, instructors can email students each week with details about upcoming material, focus discussion in the forums on the current topics, and offer external opportunities – like video chats to prepare for an exam – that match the needs of the entire student cohort. All of this is possible because the instructor knows where students are positioned within their content. They, however, were looking for a more elegant solution. And that’s how they bumped into the idea of Interactive Simulators.


    A simulator provides the much-needed cognitive engagement and practical know-how to a training program allowing the candidate to
    get a hands-on experience.

    One of the major benefits of using simulators in an online training module is the ability to assess the practical knowledge of a candidate, providing valuable data about the candidate’s capabilities to the company while keeping them engaged to the training program.
    And Mettl had to offer exactly what they were looking for.

    Cognitive Engagement refers to the two-way process of interaction and feedback mechanism of the candidate with the training program.


    Apart from increasing engagement, Mettl’s simulator helped them monitor various metrics about the candidates enrolled in the training program, allowing them access to actionable data. Some of the benefits of Mettl’s interactive simulator are:

    1. Providing an interactive medium to the student to test their skill real time
    2. Revise and revisit concepts based on the reports generated from the Coding Simulator
    3. Encouraging student engagement using multimedia and graphics
    4. Diagnostic and customizable reports for both instructors and students
    5. Technology that is easily integrable with various Learning Management Software
    6. Identifying areas of learner misunderstanding


    To make their online training programs more engaging, they integrated simulator based assessments to their training programs. This enabled the company to actively assess candidates on what they have learned. One of the major benefits of using simulators for them was the ability to assess the practical knowledge of a candidate, providing valuable data about the candidate’s capabilities to the company while keeping them engaged to the training program.


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