Learning by doing is a training method that promotes practical hands-on learning experiences (instructional, learning while working). Practical learning is the opposite of theoretical learning, placing the focus on real-life experience. The Learning by doing approach considerably increases the retention of information.
What is the purpose of Learning by doing?
Learning by doing is used to improve the learning process. How does it work? When listening, the human brain is said to maintain an optimal level of attention for up to 10 minutes. Beyond that, attention plummets, even if the subject is interesting. Alternatively, we remember up to 75% of what we do. Practical learning is a method that helps learners retain information more effectively.
According to the learning pyramid, practice is one of the most effective ways to retain information. For example, less than 10% of lectures are retained, whereas 90% of information is retained through teaching:
How does Learning by doing work?
Learning by doing is effective for two main reasons:
- Guided walkthroughs
In the context of adopting new digital tools, Learning by doing is effective thanks to guided walkthroughs that essentially instruct learners step-by-step.
To retain movement, information, or memory, you have to repeat. Learning by doing facilitates practical learning that can be repeated as and when needed. With repeated use, the learner is able to learn from their mistakes and make the right choices independently.
Let’s look at two examples of Learning by doing in practice:
- “Serious games” are digital games that are particularly effective in addressing topics such as management or time management and are played in accordance with specific rules. Serious games are used in corporate or government training, education, health, public policy and more.
- Some companies opt for augmented reality, via connected glasses for example, to immerse their employees in real life situations.
Thanks to hands-on experience, the learner is engaged and stimulated during the learning process. They carry out the sequence of actions required from the get go.
The benefits of Learning by doing?
The Learning by doing methodology offers more effective and efficient training. Here are some of the benefits:
- Improved information retention.
Learners apply what they learn, in real-time, rather than post training when critical information is forgotten. Hands-on engagement into the learning process makes it easier to remember (hence the famous “you never forget how to bike”!).
- Employee efficiency and autonomy.
Employees learn at their own pace. They know how to deal with risk and error independently, and through repetition become increasingly efficient.
- Reduce time to value and minimize training costs.
Learning by doing can significantly reduce the time to value of a software or process and increase ROI. Traditional training is often time-consuming and ineffective, resulting in additional training costs. Learning by doing facilitates engagement and repetition at every stage of training, reducing training costs.
- Change management.
Organizational and digital transformation is a catalyst for employee resistance to change, requiring effective and customizable training that is accessible to all. Learning by doing helps to facilitate effective change through repetition, autonomy, confidence and more. In addition, Learning by doing allows companies to measure and adapt training according to individual needs (e.g. digital adoption platform).
Learning by doing pedagogy promotes engagement so that the learner not only retains information, but understands it.
Learning by doing in companies
Learner engagement is the added value of Learning by doing. Unlike traditional training methods, each step of the learning process requires hands-on engagement.
Moreover, Learning by doing is a vital contributor to effective change management.
What better way to adopt change than hands-on practical experience? Learning by doing provides employees with the necessary methodology to improve their relationship with change and understand it.
Learning by doing & digital tools
Increasing and inevitable digital transformation, means more and more tools are being deployed, requiring support to master these tools. The Learning by doing methodology makes passive learning impossible, considerably increasing the success rate of digital adoption.
Digital adoption platforms are one of the most effective tools to implement Learning by doing training. A DAP allows companies to guide users step-by-step through all their digital training on any web based or SaaS solutions, directly inside the software.