In a previous article we introduced you to the AFT model, a method that was designed to solve the problems associated with online learning. The AFT model is made up of three factors - Action, Feedback, and Trigger. In this article, we will walk you through the first factor - Action.
What is Action-Based Learning
Action-Based learning is the process of learning by doing. Right, you can learn new things by watching videos and reading information, but there’s no better way to acquire a new skill than practicing it. 100 hours of watching a violin lesson will never teach you what one hour of practice would.
Experiential learning is so effective because it helps establish lasting behavior change. Rather than simply understanding a new subject, new habits and behaviors are developed.
How to Implement Action-Based Learning In Your Course
According to the AFT model, the first step of an effective learning experience is to take action. Even if your course is based on videos and texts, it’s always possible (and even easy!) to incorporate experience-based learning into it. Here’s how:
Turn Lessons into Actions
When you come to think about it, each lesson or piece of information can be turned into an action-item. Rather than just delivering information through videos or written texts, try to encourage students to take action and do something that is related to or based on what they just learned.
Students learn more effectively by doing, so if you’re teaching communication skills, for example, don’t let students just read about those skills. Ask them to go out and try them on real people! Experimenting with that new information they have learned will allow them to not only understand it better, but also make actual behavioral change.
- Micro-learning - Try and break down the assignments into achievable micro-steps. Instead of asking people to do tasks that will take them days to complete, divide those tasks into smaller pieces. That way, learners will feel a sense of accomplishment quicker and more often.
- Create different types of actions - To keep students engaged and interested, it’s important to use different types of actions, both online and offline. You can ask students to go out and start a conversation, take a quiz, or just write something down. The more variety you create in your course, the more interesting it will be.
- Keep it simple - The actions you incorporate into your course don’t need to be complicated or sophisticated. Even if you have an existing course, you don’t have to transform it or change its core. Simply add small action items into each lesson based on the content, and keep students active. The actions can be easy and fun, and there’s no need to redesign the course or build a new one.
To create real behavior change and achieve long lasting success, some actions need to be repeated on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s not enough to get students to do something once – they must repeat it every day to gain a new skill. The more students practice new behaviors, the more these behaviors will eventually become autonomous, meaning they will no longer have to think about them. They will become habits.
- Gamification - Use gamification and rewards to prompt students to take action every day. You can offer prizes to students who report that they completed their daily habits, give points, and create leader boards showcasing the highest scores. Gamification is a great motivator and can turn the learning experience into a fun journey.
- Reminders - Reminders are key when it comes to habit formation. When students are reminded of their habits, they are triggered to go ahead and do them. Ask students to set up daily reminders for their habits, and if possible, use a system that allows you to send them automatic reminders, notifications, and messages.
- Reporting the the completion of habits- It is crucial that students report that they did their habits every day. Whether it’s by setting up a list where they check each item off every day, or whether it’s by using some sort of habit-tracking app, learners must take this step, as it is a meaningful part of the behavioral change loop.
How myQuest Uses Action-Based Learning to Drive Success
- myQuest divides content into bite-sized Missions.
- Each Mission is an action-item that needs to be completed in order to move on to the next one.
- There are many types of Missions, such as questionnaires, quizzes, video-based Missions, and writing assignments.
- Daily activities are turned into ‘Habits’, and are added to a special Habit Board where students need to check in daily to report their progress.
- Automatic push notifications, emails, and reminders are sent to users on a daily basis to remind them to complete their daily actions.
- myQuest provides each of its clients with a branded mobile app, allowing instructors to send push notifications directly to the students’ phones.
Want to learn about the next element in the AFT learning model? This article will walk you through the feedback element, and why it’s such a crucial part of it.