Activity-based learning and its impact on corporate education

Companies are increasingly adopting activity-based learning methods to train their employees. This growth in popularity has been pushed by research showing that it is an effective method that promotes retention of information and faster product familiarization.

Corporate learning and development (L&D) methods are always changing, especially in how it is approached. As new research on the best methods for workers to learn, new approaches are adopted by these companies to help them deal with the changing working conditions.

The advancement of technology, especially in the field of artificial intelligence and algorithm has meant that low-skilled jobs can be automated. This has created a situation where workers need to have higher skills such as creativity, excellent communication and critical thinking. The workers also need to be retrained on new tasks and new working environments to help the companies achieve their goals.

Activity-based learning that tackles job-specific problems and scenarios is now one of the most preferred L&D methods. This is because of its effectiveness, efficiency and engagement.

Take a sales team trying to learn about a new innovative product in their company as an example. In an activity-based learning method, the process would involve two phases. The first phase will include learning everything about the product, such as features and benefits of the products. The second phase would require the team to integrate what they have learned about the product. This would require mock sales presentations by members of the group.

These activity-based learning exercises increases familiarity with the new products. It also increases the retention of information about the product being learned. This makes it an excellent learning method as compared to the cramming of facts about the product. It gives learners a special connection with the products.

Bersin research from Deloitte summarises this by saying,

Organizations must now confront a critical decision: evolve how, when, and why workers learn or risk falling behind in a world of work defined by continuous disruption.

Other researchers widely agree with the assertion by Bersin on the matter who argues that corporates need to evolve the methods they use in training staff. The process should be able to help workers improve knowledge, retention, and job performance while working.

Activity-based learning challenges

Implementing this method of learning in the corporate world is a very challenging task. It involves a lot of resources to be able to manage such a program. This is because the learning process is mostly internal, unlike other methods where corporates can pay external learning institutions for training.

Activity-based learning is also individualized. In a team setting, the best method to incorporate such an approach. This personalization is specific to learners’ needs and their jobs, therefore, may be difficult to implement in a large institution.

Technology also plays a major role which can act both in the interest of the company and against their interest. For instance, expensive technologies may end up costing the companies vast sums of money on their L&D. The technology can also speed up the learning process of workers and cutting costs involved in traditional learning methods.

Activity-based learning, however, remains favored by companies and it is increasingly becoming popular in all industries. In a fast-changing working environment, this remains the best method for training of staff.