When people actually perform a skill, rather than just watch a video and then answer multiple-choice questions about it, the chance for understanding and retention increases exponentially. In this video, learn how to how you can modify your own lessons to include interactive project-based learning opportunities.
- So we obviously want our learners to become successful, right? Success in my view always comes from just one thing, it comes from doing the right thing at the right time. Now I know it sounds kind of simple, but doing the right thing at the right time has a lot of elements to it. It's a lot about motivation to actually do it. It's a lot about capability so that you can do it, it's about being able to solve problems. A lot of that falls right in the lap of the work that we do to help educate and train people in authentic context. In CCAF the A stands for activity; is we want our learners to do something to perform successfully and that takes practice and what we call authentic activity. We stress the importance of authentic activity meaning that we want learners to perform tasks that require at least the same cognitive activity, if not exactly the same physical activity as would be necessary in the real world. As you look at designing a learning or training experience, you may hear instructional designer to say, "Oh yeah, but my content is boring." I don't believe that, no content has to dictate that the learning be boring. You're teaching it because these are skills that people need to perform. There's power in this. I want you to examine and your own lessons and training for how you can modify them to include interactive authentic tasks. Start by reminding yourself that there's a reason you're teaching what you're teaching and that reason is to help your learners succeed. If you think that knowledge is power and we all like to be empowered, we all like to be successful then that's your hook for the learner. Look at what your learner is now going to be able to do after your training, things that your learner is not able to do now and make the experience all about that. If you design with the idea that you're are helping learners become confident in something that's valuable to them, it's just not going to be boring. Whereas if you're asking somebody to memorize some list or be able to answer questions on a post test, it's going to be boring almost for sure. So to the extent possible, we want learners to first consider all the alternative actions that they consider reasonable to each challenge that's put to them. Think what the likely outcomes would be for each potential action they could take, evaluate those outcomes and then finally select a responsive and action that they think would be optimal. Now, the activity you designed doesn't need to be a sophisticated animation or big budget simulation, there are many tools out there where you can build effective simulations within a week or even less. I often hear trainers object to incorporating authentic tasks saying, "We just can't do this, it's too expensive." My response is, "No, you really have to do this. You are responsible for the learners time."