If you’re like me and you were searching the term ‘What is Action based learning’ you would have seen many very serious-looking studies about the topic.
So this is going to be the digestible version.
What is Enhanced Action Based Learning?
Action based learning basically means ‘learning by doing’. It refers to all learning that includes ongoing micro-activities that learners complete throughout their course(s) to turn ‘knowledge’ into ‘skills’ that they can use in their careers.
Much like Challenge based learning, the focus is on ‘challenging’ learners with tasks that focus on the application of skills rather than the result of the actions taken.
These micro-activities should be small, linked to the knowledge they just learned and can be carried out in their day to day working lives.
Enhanced Action Based Learning takes this a step further; it includes adding motivating factors to ensure learners don’t simply forget or don’t bother to do their micro-actions.
This is done, in the case of myskillcamp, by the learner first accepting the challenge, being reminded to complete the challenge via the learning app as well as gamification tactics, and asking for feedback.
Examples of Enhanced Action Based Learning
- Employees completing small challenges after each course segment
- Group-based knowledge sharing and feedback on their challenges
- Having groups solve a problem as a team
- Employees keeping notes of their successes and thoughts on the course
Overall, anything that can be done in a company setting that mixes what has just been learned with on-the-job practice.
So for example, an employee has started a course about ‘digital marketing’. They then begin a learning path with courses from ‘Digital marketing 101’ to ‘Setting objectives’ to ‘Digital marketing strategy’. The micro-action for each could be:
‘Digital marketing 101’ - think about a marketing campaign that could be used in your company and to keep a note of it.
‘Setting objectives’ - set objectives for the campaign you thought of previously with the help of a 15 minute meeting with the social media manager.
‘Digital marketing strategy’ - everyone who is on this course, meet as a group for 15 mins this week and discuss what your campaign strategy could be.
Importantly, these activities should be structured in order of increasing complexity so that learning and skills are built in simple steps.
The positive effects of Enhanced Action-Based Learning
Unsurprisingly, mixing great content with on-the-job practice is very successful, but it’s how successful and successful for whom that you’re going to be more interested in.
Let’s look at the cold, hard stats:
- Metacognitive skills rose by 35%
- Problem-solving skills rose by 33%
- Understanding of interpersonal relationships rose by 29%
- Team efficacy rose by 34%
- In the same study, those who took EABL outperformed those who did not by two whole grades
- In another study, those who took EABL increased their commissions by 79% in just three months
- 75% of information is retained when given the chance to practice what has been learned (as opposed to only 20% in a passive environment
- Increase of engagement and participation in tasks by 48% according to another study
- Learners that take these micro-actions can retain 90% of the information they learned. Which is why Enhanced Action-based Learning is so important.
These advantages aren’t just amazing for the employees who now have these skills, but also for the company who gets to benefit from an upskilled workforce, better KPIs and more motivated teams.
Possible pitfalls of Action Based Learning
With any eLearning training, things can go awry if not done properly; that includes Action Based Learning. Thankfully, myskillcamp has a follow-up about how to avoid the pitfalls which you can read here.
But here’s a summary:
- Poor micro-actions: Participation in courses can wane if the learning assignments aren’t properly linked to the action-based task. They must suit each other to keep participation high and properly turn knowledge to skill.
- Other deadlines getting in the way: if a learner has other courses to do or work deadlines to make then micro-actions will get pushed aside. Timing and incentives are key to overcoming this.
- Group issues: If team members don’t get along or a learner is not engaged it can have a negative effect on the rest of the group.
- Lack of guidance: If a course leader, mentor or manager is absent or ineffective then it can have a negative effect on the learning process.
- Inability to use needed technology: All eLearning will be completed on a platform of some sort, if a learner isn’t well-versed in this platform it can affect results and waste time.
- Poorly defined requirements: Micro-actions must be well described. If they’re not, a learner may lose interest or put in effort only to find it was misplaced.
- Action Based learning isn’t enhanced: Companies must motivate learners into completing the micro-actions or the knowledge won’t become skills.
Overall, Action based learning must be enhanced and well-defined. Myskillcamp can help you achieve that.
How to make Enhanced Action Based Learning successful
You can get a your guide on how to make Enhanced Action Based Learning successful here, but here is a bitesize overview:
- Must be understood: Learners should understand the risks associated with not completing the actions.
- Involve decision makers: As with all training strategies, get management onboard with the strategy.
- Must prove completion: Learners must be able to prove they’ve completed a micro-action. Ask for feedback and allow them to add notes to the learning platform.
- Ask the right questions to get started: What do you want to achieve in your company? What's the toughest learning challenge you have? How can you shape micro-actions around your courses?
- Must be enhanced: Using motivating reminders and gamification tactics, you can ensure employees take learning seriously and complete your micro-actions further than what simple challenge based learning can.
How we can help you Enhanced your Action Based Learning
Myskillcamp has rolled out a new feature called Micro-Actions.
Now, not only can our adaptive learning retention capabilities show if a learner has retained knowledge, but we can help learners apply that knowledge and skills into their working lives.
- Each course is personalised to the learner including the reminders to return to the learning environment.
- Easily create micro-actions that appear after courses and in the form of reminders on the platform and via learners’ phones via the app.
- Each micro-action encourages learners to give feedback that you can use to improve courses and actions. Also useful so you can see which learners need extra help.
- We use gamification in the form of a ‘learning reinforcement level’ that increases when each micro-action is completed.
- Integrates into all LMS platforms.