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Using Consequence-based Learning in E-learning Courses

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Using  Consequence-based Learning in E-learning Courses

In life, everything we do or say will have consequences. Sometimes, expericence is the best teacher and the most effective tool at her disposal is consequences. Each time we experience something, we learn from its consequences – whether good or bad, desirable or undesirable. Often, the lessons learnt through consequences are hard to forget and abide with us all through our lives.

This profound truth set me thinking about its relevance to eLearning courses. Can consequences be used effectively in eLearning courses to facilitate learning? Well, the answer is yes!

What is it?

In consequence-based learning, learners are given a wide range of options to deal with a particular siutation or take a decision. Teaching commences based on their choice. While the correct choices are appreciated, they have to be reinforced by providing the proper explanation and other accompnying factors.

The concept of consequence-based learning comes into play when dealing with incorrect/inappropriate choices. Feedback and subsequent learning should focus on guiding learners in the right direction. 

Consequence-based learning can be a very effective methodology to facilitate learning in eLearning courses. They are best suited when learners have to be taught about safety, equipment usage, adherence to set procedures, and other compliance or decision-based subjects.


As an example, consider a course on electrical safety where learners (electrical technicians) have to be taught about the importance of wearing the right protective gear while handling equipment and the role of the gear in averting accidents.


Consequence-based learning can be adopted to this siutation by using secnarios to depict accidents that could occur when technicians do not use the recommended gear. Learners can go through the scenarios and infer how such accidents could have been avoided.

Giving them time to ponder over the consequences of their non-conformance and reinforcing learning will leave a deep impression in their minds and ensure they never fail to use the protective gear when it is needed.

This is just one example of how consequence-based learning can be adopted to eLearning. It can be used to teach a variety of subjects, but is most effective for courses where leaners have to face dire consequences if rules are not met, procedures are not followed, or certain tasks are not fulfilled.

What are the benefits?

Using consequence-based learning in eLearning courses lends them a rich, learner-centric appeal. Such courses:

  • Capture learners’ attention
  • Compel learners to particiapte actively by taking decisions
  • Induce learners to think and accquire learning hands-on rather than just watching the
    course flash by
  • Increase motivation levels by providing rewards for correct decisions
  • Reinforce learning through proper feedback mechanisms 

Use your imagination and leverage the strength of consequence-based learning to make courses more engaging and interesting for your learners – but ensure that it suits your content and addresses the learning issues.

Using the concept where it is completely unapplicable, might confuse learners and divert their attention from the learning. Hence, use it judiciously and reap rich rewards of happy learners and increased, enhanced performance.

View eBook on 10 E-learning Interactivities that Engage Your Learners


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