Why is learning by doing effective in onboarding users of a digital solution? Discover positive learning by doing.

The effectiveness of learning by doing in business - Knowmore

La formation des collaborateurs par la pratique

Learning by doing for user onboarding

Learning by doing, or learning by doing, is a pragmatic pedagogy, adopted by more and more companies. Different from theoretical learning, which is very/too academic, it is inclusive, positive and engaging, in both senses of the term. Through action, it puts each user in a situation, with the objective of succeeding in mastering a digital or other tool.
Discover the principles of learning by doing, with Philippe Lacroix, co-founder of ILDI, a digital training strategy firm…


What is learning by doing?

Learning by doing is learning by doing, pedagogy by doing, or training by doing.
Beyond this literal definition, learning follows several steps:

  • Understanding the training objective.
  • The appropriation of learning: its integration into the learner’s professional (or personal) world.
  • Action or implementation. This is doing.

Doing or acting is the same as experimenting in order to learn.
Conversely, the doing of theoretical learning is the result of training. It often leads to an evaluation of knowledge, which unfortunately also translates into know-how that is not acquired. This is one of the limits of theory compared to practice.


What are the principles of learning by doing?

Learning by doing differs from academic teaching, by advocating experimentation, and therefore action. Failures are a positive part of learning, the ultimate goal being to get rid of them.

In this approach, the three possible approaches of learning by doing are :

  • Guiding to eliminate the risk of too much experimentation.
  • Let it happen and then correct it to avoid too many failures.
  • Showing good practices to cultivate positive mimicry.

Then, there is the implementation of the acquired learning, through practice.
If the principles of learning by doing may seem broad or even lack a framework, it is to avoid falling back into the rigidity of theoretical learning. Learning by doing must remain open“, as Philippe Lacroix emphasizes.

How does learning by doing work?

For learning by doing to work in a company, an organization… it is necessary that the departure bias is: “doing is the best way to learn”. Once this principle is accepted, the whole training process must be based on the actions that the learner must carry out, until he/she becomes autonomous. Theoretical input is possible, but it should be used to support understanding during the learning phases, and not as a substitute.

Learning to ride a bike is an example that speaks to everyone…

With learning by doing, the learner is on a bicycle, without pedals at the beginning, to master it with his feet, like a three-wheeler. The second step is the search for braking and balance, downhill. Once the latter is found or mastered, the pedals are added, and “the whole thing rolls”: the person on a bicycle.
The objective is reached: to know how to ride a bicycle.

In theoretical pedagogy, the parts making up the bicycle are explained with their own functionality. The balance to be achieved on the bike is illustrated through physical principles. Videos of people riding the bike are shown as a final illustration of the know-how to be achieved.
The objective cannot be reached, except for an extraordinary predisposition to ride a bike…

In fact, training through action introduces positive (and formative) failure: not succeeding is expected. And failing is important because it is concrete and permanently part of the learning cycle! For the learner, having been confronted with a situation where he/she fails, increases his/her training and success tenfold. They then know how to stop failing.


Train with K-STUDIO from Knowmore

K-STUDIO is an e-learning authoring software to create 100% interactive training content, to get your digital tools in hand. More flexible and cost-effective than a training environment, these interactive and 100% realistic training capsules allow you to train by doing, in class, remotely or in e-learning, guaranteeing a high retention rate of your learners. K-STUDIO is digital training, learning by doing.

When should learning by doing be used in an e-learning approach?

In e-learning, if the initial principle is to do in order to learn, learning by doing is present at every stage of the training.

In a more theoretical or hybrid approach to e-learning, learning by doing is an asset, both in the introduction and in the conclusion of a course:

– At the beginning, it allows the learner’s level to be assessed, to evaluate the interest of the training and to estimate the effort to be made.
– At the end, it concretizes the effort made and can be an element of evaluation or good practice.

What are the benefits of learning by doing?

In fact, learning by doing is a natural mechanism, which neurosciences have revealed and praise. Effective, it combines:

  • Satisfaction,
  • Memorization,
  • Connection with the environment,
  • Efficiency through rapid learning, which goes “straight to the point”,
  • Organization on demand: when you want and as many times as you need.

It has only one drawback, for trainers only: it combines a multitude of small actions to be combined, in the service of learning. This is a challenge for instructional designers, who must have the right approach and imagine all these micro-training sequences. It takes real know-how to achieve this, to imagine all the scenarios or transversal paths…

Learning by doing is unique in terms of learning and onboarding users. There is no shortage of pragmatic or philosophical references, whether it’s learning how to ride a bike or how to fish to be autonomous. A forerunner in learning by doing, Knowmore defends digital learning by doing. The company has even optimized it by developing a simulated environment, without any real risk, which allows learning by doing. These micro-learnings are the essence of Knowmore. It maximizes the chances of success, as a non-intrusive, but educational and benevolent assistance.

About ILDI

Founded by Philippe Lacroix and Philippe Gil, ILDI – International Learning & Development Institute – supports companies, training organizations and software publishers in their digital training strategy. An independent consulting firm, ILDI is also publications via the Digital Learning Academy and quarterly events dedicated to training.

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