Learning By Doing – A Few Options

Corporate instructors can teach in a number of different ways, and those methods are evolving each and every day. These days, it’s not just about gathering everyone in a classroom and providing instruction. It’s about letting your employees perform tasks and giving them the opportunity to perfect what they are learning. Training and development strategies have shifted to a “learn as you work” strategy, or as some refer to it, “learning by doing”. Learning by doing is the way to teach someone how to do a task by  having them perform it.

Though it may sound a bit obvious, when you take a step back for a moment you realize that we as humans have behaved in a “learn as you do” strategy since when we were born. We learn how to walk after falling several times, or to learn how to ride a bike in the same way. And we gain self-confidence as we master social interactions, but only after much experience and some failures. So too int eh workplace training environment as well. We still might learn most effectively by directly applying knowledge or a particular skill to a specific action or task.

I’d like to take a look at a few of the different ways that a manager can implement learning by doing, and the following are some of the most popular approaches.

Sample Scenarios

One of the easiest ways to teach by doing is the time-tested approach of having sample scenarios. Give your teams a set of problems that they must work through in order to resolve. These can be real issues that you have faced before, or imaginary examples that you think would be a good fit. You can add input as to why each approach would be beneficial and the potential pitfalls that it has as well. It may even be a good opportunity to have some employees bring up issues they have faced themselves.

Free Training From Vendors

There are some vendors out there that will offer free training for your company. While you will have to do the legwork and see which businesses can benefit from this, it is a great opportunity for anyone that can take advantage of it. Having someone that has been in the industry for so long can give teams a different viewpoint because vendors have to handle a wide range of issues. If you are interested in this type of learning, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your vendors and see if any of them offer training. You may be surprised at how many of them do.

Paying for Company-Based Training

You can also think about offering to pay your employees to train for the company. This may be smaller classes or college-based classes, but the overall impact is the same. It’s very hard for any company to stay on top of the game, and having a course that offers training may breathe new life into the business. Professors have years of experience that can’t be found anywhere else, and these course settings can cover a wide range of topics and introduce new ideas or concepts that are gaining momentum. While it may sound like a disadvantage for a company to pay for services like this, it provides your employees with a reason to learn outside of their schedule and can end up paying off in the end when you are able to apply those ideas to your company.

Digital Guidance Systems

One of the most innovative solutions is simply known as a digital guidance system. A digital guidance system is something that works with your current browser and walks users through a variety of steps, based on what they are trying to accomplish. The tools are always there, and they can always look for help if they encounter a problem in which they have no solution. This means that learning can truly be done on the job and not have to be something that takes up any extra time. One of the most popular examples of this is a program known as WalkMe. As the name suggests, WalkMe walks users through a problem, giving them a way to resolve an issue while receiving real-time feedback and tips.

These are a good entry point in the Learning by Doing outlook. Beware, it might by a bumpy road at times, but you’ll see increased efficiency and heightened performance in the long-term.
 

Jason Silberman
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog
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