Insights Into Decision-Based Learning

What Is Decision-Based Learning?

Decision-based learning can be used in education or professional development to help learners understand situations properly and the process behind making the most effective decision.

In typical decision-based learning, conditional knowledge is taught first. The BYU say that this is the knowledge of when or under what conditions concepts and procedures apply — so, understanding the problem and strategy.

Usually, you’re then presented with a problem and decision points. Ensuring you have the correct conditional knowledge, you will make the correct decision. If not, your decision should reiterate the knowledge and help you to understand why your decision was incorrect.

Once you are able to understand the correct decision and how to implement it, you learn how best to communicate your decision.

It is crucial as a learner to retain engagement throughout the learning of decision making. Without engagement, your understanding of the process will be much more limited. To achieve results or the desired goal, decisions need to be made systematically using the process learned.

“While making the absolute best decision is often important, how you leave people feeling is always important. Decisions made with clarity produce the best results across the board.” - Ann Latham, Forbes

Decision-Based Learning In Practice

Many sectors including healthcare, education, emergency services, and corporate organizations are turning to decision-based learning. Implementing this method of learning has been very successful and crucial to embedding core processes into day-to-day work.

The Shared Decision Making (SDM) program by E-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) was developed to apply shared decision making in practice and to teach healthcare professionals the skills they need. With patients wanting more involvement in their care, SDM promotes involvement and engagement when decisions are being made regarding patient care, making a cultural change to healthcare.

SDM promotes better practice at work through the use of films presenting good and bad practice. Through film, conditional knowledge is taught to ensure learners are able to make effective decisions further into the program and on the job.

The SDM program can be enhanced using immersive, interactive online learning. Near-Life™ enhances eLearning by using gamification to put learners through an immersive, role-play experience; achieving higher engagement and retention. Healthcare professionals have the chance to experience realistic simulated scenarios to develop and test their decision-making skills.

St John Ambulance used the pioneering Near-Life™ technology allowing the public to test their skills in the face of a crisis. Learners have the opportunity to understand how to make the right decision with real-life timings. The training not only bridges gaps in their knowledge but builds their confidence in making the right decisions that may save a life: fantastic use of technology.

Effective decision-making training developed by Kineo provides training through a 70-minute eLearning module to teach learners the process of decision making. Kineo understands that certain situations require more thought into the approach, and so the course allows learners to understand when decisions should be made, how to communicate and which decision is best.

The course also gives learners the opportunity to review their decisions to ensure the most effective decision is made on the job, a great element to ensure engagement and knowledge retention.

Alternatively, the decision making,eLearning course from Trainer Bubble uses text, graphics, images, videos, interactivity, and ongoing tests to teach learners a systematic approach to allow timely and smarter decisions. The use of various teaching methods ensures higher engagement to allow a deeper understanding of making informed decisions.

Why Use Decision-Based Learning?

Using this type of approach will evidently improve learning outputs but also work on motivation, prevent conflict and allow more time effective work; what more could you want?

The more practice that goes into the process of making decisions, the less conflict there will be. From then, it works like the domino effect. Faster decisions equal more productivity resulting in an increased motivation to continue, one by one achieving and succeeding.

Making better decisions also allows others to have more trust and respect in you as a decision-maker. As someone leading the process, this is something you would really want to fulfill.

What Are The Problems?

It is clear that decision making can be taught using various methods, however, it is important to understand that learners need to be fully engaged for the training to be effective. Using various ways to teach online, blended learning or immersive technology are all great ways to keep the learner engaged.

It is equally important that even after effective decision making, learners don’t use ‘mental shortcuts’. These shortcuts make decisions quicker, however, can result in making the wrong judgment and misunderstanding the problem and process. This essentially makes the training ineffective, but it is understandable as to why this can happen so easily.

Mental shortcuts can go hand in hand with being overconfident. Whilst you may reach a point of thinking you know exactly how to make effective decisions and can quickly come to a choice it can again lead to misjudgment and further problems, something which could lose your trust and respect as a decision-maker.

The Right Approach For The Future?

There is more to decision making than we think, and it is important to understand the process to achieve success. Decision-based learning can have a big impact, transforming employees into faster, more reliable and effective decision-makers. With training becoming less monotonous and more tailored to the role, more professionals should make it an integral part of their Learning and Development.

eBook Release: Near-Life™ CREATOR
Near-Life™ CREATOR
Near-Life CREATOR is an interactive video authoring tool that allows you to design and deliver, cutting-edge, immersive learning scenarios. Near-Life CREATOR puts learning designers and content producers in control.
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