“Every problem is a gift – without problems we would not grow.”
Failure and problems teach us so much in life. So, problem-solving role play is used in many cases to teach numerous aspects. But, when you deliver training online, how can you ensure that the learners get the experience of facing real-life problems? How can you ensure they acquire the ability to solve the problems? Problem-based learning might be the answer.
This might not be a real-life experience, but a virtual one, which provides real-life problems to the employees and they are expected to overcome them.
What is Problem-Based Learning?
Problem-Based Learning, a learner-centered instructional approach, allows the learner to learn something by working through the content, either individually or in a group, to solve a problem. In e-learning, these real-life problems are incorporated in a scenario where learners may find themselves in real life and are provided with different choices. Learners need to make the appropriate decisions to avoid the consequences. In case the learner fails to make the right decision, he is informed about the possible consequences. So, the fear of being affected by the consequences is eliminated and learning happens.
What are the Benefits of Using Problem-Based Learning in E-learning?
The benefits of this technique are not limited only to learners, but it is beneficial to the organization as well.
Benefits to the Learner
- Learners get the opportunity to explore the problem by themselves
- They get a chance to apply their existing experience to find the answers
- The approach encourages logical thinking, knowledge construction and teamwork in the learners
- Learners also develop self-directed learning ability as they realize what they already know and what they need to know
- The approach helps them in the long run (learning of any concept in corporate or personal life)
- The problem pulls in the learners and it makes them curious to find the answers
- Learners can better retain the information as they have a better understanding over the concepts they learn with this approach
For example, in ERP end-user training, learners would get an opportunity to explore the different problems they might face on the live ERP and apply their existing knowledge and experience to come up with solutions. This helps them tackle the problem with ease in the real environment.
Benefits to the Organization
- Organizations can deliver training that is context specific, to ensure employees acquire the necessary skills.
- As learners who take such courses would be high, organizations can ensure a good completion rate of the courses
- It helps organizations encourage learners to spend more time on training
- Organizations ensure more intrinsic rewards
For example, in ERP end-user training, organizations get an opportunity to deliver training that is context specific and contains real-time problems. When end-users learn about the possible problems, the will be more careful in real life and avoid damage for the organization.
Having discussed the advantages of this learning approach, you must also consider the challenge of identifying the potential real-life problems to provide them in the course. As we know, identifying a problem is often harder than solving it. As everyone in the organization will be new to the system, you would find it difficult to identify the possible problems. Taking the help of the implementation partner might help you identify a few.
Do you have any experience in developing problem-based learning courses? We would love to read you experience in the comments section.