Problem Based Learning (PBL), is widely used by the corporate world, to enhance the level of training imparted in organizations. Real life scenarios are an integral part of Problem Based Learning (PBL) strategies. I would like to share the benefits of including real examples from the industry, in corporate training curricula.
These scenarios help:
Provide ‘authenticity’ to the training program
Principles of andragogy state that adult learners acquire new skills and knowledge better, if they are convinced that these would improve their ability to solve problems.
Inclusion of relevant real life scenarios in corporate training programs provides a sense of ‘authenticity’, because it convinces the employees that the time spent on training would be useful to overcome the challenges faced by them.
Explain complex concepts better
Learners often find abstract topics hard to understand. This creates problems in efficiently engaging them. Instruction on these ‘difficult’ subjects could be made lively, through the inclusion of real world examples. Consider the following example:
A company conducts a corporate learning program intended to prevent the violation of intellectual property rights. The instructor does not cite any cases, or present scenarios, related to these violations. He merely tries to explain the meaning of the legal jargon of related laws.
Another trainer holds a session with the same objective but, he extensively uses case-studies and legal scenarios to explain how these violations take place in the corporate world.
Which of these programs, according to you, is more effective? I prefer the latter because the learner is ABLE TO RELATE THE LAWS TO HIS WORK. The conversion of ‘abstract’ statutes into ‘concrete’ knowledge makes him more efficient in dealing with the concerned Acts, as he is able to apply them better.
Ignite the spark of inquiry
The incorporation of real-life scenarios in corporate learning kindles the fire of inquiry that could illuminate the path to improved organizational performance. Problem-based learning programs could drive the learner to encounter and work on the central concepts and principles of a topic, by presenting relevant issues (Thomas, 2000).
These real-life challenges stimulate the trainee’s ‘nerves of curiosity’, as he tries to learn more about them and find efficient solutions. This helps them construct new knowledge and develop new ways of overcoming these problems.
Thus, inclusion of real examples in corporate training curricula, enhances the quality of learning in organizations, by facilitating better comprehension of the course content and motivating students to explore innovative solutions to the company’s problems. How did you use real-life examples to improve training in your firm? Do share your experiences with us.