7 Subtle Ways To Integrate Mistake-Driven Learning Into Online Training
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How To Integrate Mistake-Driven Learning Into Online Training

Taking risks and making errors can lead to valuable learning opportunities. Particularly in online training environments where employees don’t have to worry about the real-world repercussions. But mistake-driven learning is a balancing act. You don’t want to make employees feel like they’re being judged or that every error is being evaluated under a microscope. However, they should still be able to identify their own areas for improvement in order to grow and expand their professional expertise. Here are 7 subtle ways to encourage corporate learners to make mistakes so that they broaden their knowledge and experience.

1. Personal Anecdotes That Encourage Self-Reflection

Anecdotes help corporate learners relate to similar situations and reflect on their own past mistakes. For example, you share a story about how you performed a task incorrectly or mishandled a customer service issue. Explain the emotions behind the event and the repercussions, as well as lessons you drew from the experience. This encourages corporate learners to reflect on how they might handle themselves if they were in your shoes. They’re also more likely to think back on issues they’ve encountered on the job and critique their performance. Just make certain that the anecdotes don’t include too many personal details. You want them to resonate with corporate learners and form a connection. Oversharing can make them feel uncomfortable or even exclude members of the team by narrowing the scope.

2. Online Training Simulations With Immediate eLearning Feedback

Online training simulations mimic realistic challenges and situations. Thus, they give employees the chance to test their reactions under pressure and identify areas for improvement. The key is to incorporate immediate feedback so that they can pinpoint the skills and knowledge they need to work on instead of trying to guess which topics they should focus on during their online training sessions. Remember, tact is essential. Explain where they went wrong and how they could have handled the situation more effectively. But avoid laundry lists of every incorrect move they have made without offering any further explanation.

3. Decision-Making Scenarios

Which branching path will a corporate learner take and where will it lead? More importantly, which mistakes will they make along the way that lead to self-reflection and personal improvement? Decision-making scenarios give employees the opportunity to take risks and experience possible outcomes without diminishing their on-the-job productivity. Follow up with immediate personalized eLearning feedback to make it even more beneficial. You should also encourage them to participate in the branching scenario several times to evaluate alternative decision paths.

4. Group Collaboration Projects

Mistakes and peer-based feedback are two of the most valuable online training tools. Group collab projects combine them to facilitate knowledge sharing and mistake-driven learning. Divide employees into teams and invite them to create an online training resource or solve a common problem collectively. Along the way, they’ll share experiences and explore different viewpoints, which allows them to learn from their peer’s past mistakes and approach the challenge from multiple angles. The may even get the chance to challenge their personal cognitions and expand their horizons. For instance, a member of the group realizes they’ve been completing a task incorrectly or giving customers inaccurate information or product advice.

5. Serious Games With Follow-Up Recommendations

Serious games allow employees to benefit from their mistakes in a more fun and lighthearted environment. Especially when you include memorable characters and relatable storylines that entertain and inspire. Corporate learners must demonstrate that they have the necessary knowledge or skills to progress to the next level. If not, the system automatically displays areas of concern and personalized recommendations that can help them bridge the gaps. For example, the employee must actively listen to the customer’s needs to find them the ideal product. This not only requires interpersonal skills but also product knowledge. Mistakes and online training pain points prevent them from successfully completing the round or accruing enough points. It’s a subtle way of pointing them in the right direction and telling them where they went wrong without feeling singled-out or judged.

6. Personalized Pop Quizzes

They are quick, convenient, and customized to identify personal strengths and weaknesses. Pop quizzes also help employees disclose past mistakes so that they can continually expand their knowledge base. The pop quiz displays immediately after they complete a simulation or online training module. The intent is to explore their mistakes in more depth so that they can reflect and self-evaluate. For instance, their simulation performance reveals that they’re lacking a crucial skill. Thus, the quiz contains a series of 10 questions to provide more personalized eLearning feedback. The employee is able to not only see where they went wrong but also the underlying skill and knowledge gaps. It’s a way of diagnosing the problem so that employees benefit even more from their mistakes and can shift their focus moving forward.

7. Cliffhanger Case Studies And Practical Examples

Incorporate case studies or real-world examples with an open ending that allow employees to arrive at their own conclusions. Encourage them to explain why they made that decision so that they walk through their thought process, and determine if it was the right choice or if it may result in negative consequences. For instance, the practical example involves a customer service associate who receives a call-in complaint. Then ask the employee how they would handle the situation and why. You can even invite them to explore the worst or best-case scenario and the repercussions that go along with each.

Mistake-driven learning involves ongoing eLearning feedback and personalized praise. Highlighting employee gaps is just as important as recognizing their accomplishments. Acknowledge their efforts so that they stay motivated and don’t get discouraged. The secret is to encourage them to become lifelong learners, not to feel so defeated that they simply give up.

Mistakes should be viewed as amazing opportunities to grow, rather than resounding failures that stand in the way of the learning process. Still not convinced that mistake-driven learning is ideal for your online training strategy? Read the article 7 Benefits Of Mistake-Driven Learning to discover the top 7 benefits that it can bring to your employees and eLearning ROI.

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