TWO PROJECT-BASED LEARNING DEVELOPMENT QUESTIONS FOR BUSINESS & PERFORMANCE IMPACT
Teaching for performance and business impact is not as complicated as we think if we are taking a project-based learning approach. Here are two questions we can ask and subsequently answer to make the transition from theories and concepts to learner application.
- Are the learning inquiries, activities, tasks and assessments aligned with past, current or future business projects or issues through which employees can further develop or gain the necessary knowledge and skills to attain the required performance outcome needed to meet the predesignated business outcome(s)?
- Does the learning experience enable employees to work on real past, present and future projects or issues for a sufficient period of time enabling them to investigate, respond or engage with authentic and complex business/job/task-relevant questions, problems, or challenges aligned with the predesignated performance and/or business outcome(s)?
- If the answer is "YES"... Congratulations! You're implementing project-based business & performance-driven learning experiences.
- If the answer is “NO”, ask the same two questions but from the "WHAT" perspective!
- What types of learning inquiries, activities, tasks and assessments must we include, which align with and address past, current or future business projects or issues, and through which employees can further develop or gain the necessary knowledge and skills to attain the required performance outcome needed to meet the predesignated business outcome(s)? From where and whom can we get the best data to inform and guide their development?
- What is missing/required/needs to improve within the learning experience to enable employees to work on real projects or issues for a sufficient period of time that enables them to effectively investigate, respond and engage with authentic and complex business/job/task-related questions, problems, or challenges aligned with the predesignated performance and business outcome(s)?
These two questions may not seem like much, but they effectively enable the following:
- The active use of past, present and future business events/initiatives to build verifiable employee skills and business impact capacity
- Ensure the contents of the learning experience are fully aligned with predefined business & performance outcomes
- Provides a platform for employees to practice and apply their skills to real past, current or future business cases in shadow mode, where they are dealing with real data, clients and business scenarios, real-world contexts, but within a safe and business-relevant learning environment
- Outcomes obtained through project-based learning mapped on real issues provides potential and applicable solutions or propositions to those very same business issues. These outcomes can then be presented to the business as potential avenues to pursue and test out
- With the multiplicity of learners, we end up with diversified approaches to solution-building and subsequently also a variety of solutions to select from for the targeted business and performance outcome(s). Should we wish fewer solutions, learners need only be put in groups where they can subsequently also learn the dynamics of teamwork as a byproduct.
Those are the five benefits I came up with on the fly.
Can you see more?
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Disclaimer: The opinions and points of view expressed in this article are those of Mervyn Kennedy-MacFoy. They are in no way representative of any previous, current, future, clients or employers he has been, is or will be affiliated with.