The Benefits Οf A Mistake-Driven Learning Approach
While it may be tempting to provide your learners with genies, wizards, and guides to help them through your eLearning course, giving them the chance to learn from their mistakes offers a variety of unique advantages. In this article I'll highlight the many benefits learners can expect to receive when you take a mistake-driven learning approach. After all, mistakes should be viewed as amazing opportunities to grow, rather than resounding failures that stand in the way of the learning process.
- It gives learners the opportunity to take risks that lead to personal growth.
Above all else, making mistakes in eLearning environments gives learners the chance to take risks that they would not take otherwise. In the real world they probably wouldn't be as innovative or creative when approaching a problem, simply because they are afraid of what the outcome might be. However, in eLearning courses that are centered around mistake-driven learning your learners are given the opportunity to take risks that eventually lead to personal and professional growth. They can experiment and through this experimentation they can find the path to success in all aspects of their lives.
- It builds problem solving and critical thinking skills.
When troubleshooting manuals or tutorials are used in lieu of genies or wizards, your learners have the chance to build essential skills that they will need outside the virtual classroom. Rather than having a wizard to guide them every step of the way, they are required to use their own problem solving abilities and critical thinking skills to arrive at a practical and effective solution on their own. They learn how to make informed choices, and are able to see how every decision path they take leads to alternative outcomes. For example, if they learn through troubleshooting that two alternate solutions would cause additional problems, they aren't likely to choose those particular paths in the real world when they face similar obstacles or situations.
- It boosts knowledge retention and comprehension.
When learners formulate a solution on their own or come to a conclusion without the assistance of eLearning course wizards, they are more likely to actually absorb that information and commit it to their long term memory. For example, if they are simply given an answer, they might remember it for just a minute or two before moving onto the next module. On the contrary, if they have to fight for the solution and search their knowledge base for the correct answer, they are going to remember it more effectively, thanks to the circumstances surrounding the problem solving process. The eLearning experience, itself, will be more memorable. Therefore, the eLearning content will be more memorable.
- It shows the real world consequences of their decisions.
In the real world, each and every one of our decisions lead to consequences; good or bad. By creating mistake-driven learning experiences, you offer your learners the ability to explore the outcomes of their decisions without having to take any real risks. This is particularly true if you include scenarios or simulations that are genie-free. Your learners can explore the repercussions of every choice they make, so that they know how to navigate a situation, tackle a task, or overcome a challenge when they are in the real world.
- It removes boundaries created by the fear of failure.
By developing mistake-driven eLearning courses, failure is always an option for your learners. However, this helps them realize that they can learn a great deal about themselves and their learning behaviors through failure. They won't have to be afraid of making mistakes or the consequences of those errors, because they know they are in a safe and secure eLearning environment where mistakes are being honored. Mistakes are learning tools, instead of obstacles standing in the way of the eLearning process. Your learners are more likely to try, make a concerted effort, and answer questions, even if they aren't sure they know the correct answer. By doing this, they can learn what they do incorrectly and remedy the situation, so that they are able to expand their knowledge base in a productive and profound way.
- It gives them confidence and self assurance in all aspects of life.
Making mistakes provides learners with a boost in confidence and self esteem because they are empowered to find their own solutions. They know that there is a support system in place if they need it, but they are also aware that there isn't a guide to walk them through the process and answer questions on their behalf. This puts them in control of their own eLearning experience, and gives them the power to face any challenge that comes their way with a renewed sense of self assurance. They now have the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to make decisions with ease and carry out tasks with confidence.
- It helps learners to create connections between ideas and concepts.
An incorrect guess is actually better than simply being handed the correct solution. This is because learners are more likely to remember when they make a wrong choice and are then prompted to discover the correct solution on their own. This creates a connection within their minds between the eLearning experience and the idea or concept, making the eLearning experience more effective and powerful.
These are just some of the ways that your learners can benefit from mistake-driven learning in eLearning environments. Consider getting rid of genies and wizards, in order to let your learners take the risks and, by extension, get the rewards.
Want to know more about how to apply mistake-driven learning in your eLearning course? Read the article 5 Tips To Use Mistake-Driven Learning In eLearning Courses and find the top 5 tips you can use to create engaging and inspiring eLearning courses that encourage learners to learn from their mistakes.