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How to avoid the pitfalls of Enhanced Action Based Learning?

Alicja King |

In my previous article (which you can read here) I covered what Enhanced Action Based Learning was, as well as the benefits and our new feature to make EABL a simpler and more successful process.

In this article, let’s look at the pitfalls associated with Challenge Based Learning and Action Based Learning and how to avoid them.

Poor Planning

With any eLearning strategy, the planning needs to be air-tight. Look at the business needs, what skill gaps are prevalent? What is the toughest learning challenge L&D are facing? What are the learning outcomes you want to achieve? 

  • Poor micro-actions: Course participation can wane if the action-based tasks aren’t properly linked to the courses they support. 

Solution – Take time to think about micro-actions that fit in with each course. They should be short, easily achieved, have the ability to be performed at work and relate to the course content. 

  • Lack of guidance: If a course leader, mentor or manager is absent or ineffective then it can have a negative effect on the learning process. This can be seen in the following study:

You can see the effectiveness of Enhanced Action Based Learning was greatly reduced without a mentor. Both in terms of perceived effectiveness…

…And actual effectiveness:

Solution – All learners need to have a clearly defined person to contact with their successes, questions and micro-action feedback. A member of L&D can serve as this person in most instances but it’s also important to have all managers in the company onboard with the training processes put in place.

  • Poorly defined requirements: Micro-actions must be well described and leave no room for interpretation. If they’re not, a learner can lose interest or put in effort only to find their work was incorrect through no fault of their own.

Solution – Define the time-frame, the technology to use, what to consider, who to include in your micro-action, and a reminder to give feedback.

You can see below that our solution gives the opportunity to give clear and detailed challenges.

Tech constraints

As new and amazing technology seems to appear daily, which means there’s potentially a lot for employees to learn and implement into their daily lives. This leads to some pitfalls when it comes to deploying training content effectively.

  • Lack of IT knowledge: Depending on your learners, you may be faced with people who have very little knowledge or patience around IT. If this is the case then the courses and micro-actions you so painstakingly created may be wasted.
    Solution – Having proper onboarding and personalisation in your training platform can catch these people quickly, meaning you’ll be able to offer them IT courses before they tackle more advanced courses. Another solution is to ensure your courses have tutors who can guide these learners through courses.
  • Inability to use needed technology: Not only will many of the courses take place on an online platform, but many of the micro-actions will depend on technology of some sort. If learners don’t properly understand how to use these tools it can lead to wasted time, incorrect results, loss of motivation and misunderstanding the aim of the micro-action itself.

Solution – Add a ‘how-to’ course or (at the very least) video on how to use the tools needed to complete the course and micro-actions. This will ensure everyone is up to speed with the tools.

Time constraints

  • Other deadlines getting in the way: Learners who have other courses on the go or pressing work deadlines will often push micro-actions aside, effectively stopping their learning and failing to turn their knowledge into skills. This can cause a domino effect leading to the course being forgotten and micro-actions being ignored multiple times.

Solution – Ensure that employees have enough time to take on their micro-actions associated with their Enabled Action Based Learning courses. Allow them to push back deadlines if necessary but deploy a way to remind them to complete their challenges. Similarly, ensure your EABL courses are incentivised, so the learners get a reward for completing their micro-actions.

Group Project mentality

  • Cohesion of learners: Not everyone is going to get along in a group setting, unfortunately the differences in behaviours, characteristics, working habits and learning preferences can create friction.
    Solution – For group-led micro-actions ensure a manager or mentor is present or is reported to so group activities are kept on track and useful for all members.
  • Piggybacking:  Employees who put in a lot of effort for group-led activities can be put off by other members who don’t do as much and seem to ‘piggyback’ off their hard work.
    Solution – Managers / mentors need to emphasise that collaboration and research is for the benefit of the learner. It is the active learning that is causing the knowledge to transfer to usable skills, so ‘piggybacking’ does not matter as those doing it will not be learning by impassively taking in information.

Lack of Enhancement

  • Action Based learning isn’t enhanced: Companies who do not enhance their Action based learning or challenge based learning will lose learners over time through motivation loss, forgetfulness, other work constraints or lack of knowledge. This not only means a waste of time and resources, but the knowledge won’t be converted into skills.

Solution – You must use Enhanced Action Based Learning from myskillcamp that uses Adaptive Learning retention techniques, motivation, feedback and gamification tactics. This is proven to turn short-term knowledge into long-term skills.

Discover Enhanced Action Based Learning for yourself with a fantastic promotion only available with myskillcamp.

Discover it here.