Discovery learning is a powerful instructional approach that guides and motivates learners to explore information and concepts in order to construct new ideas, identify new relationships and create new models of thinking and behavior.
Well-designed discovery learning educational sessions are highly experiential and interactive — using stories, games, simulations, visual maps and other techniques to grab attention, build interest and lead a journey of discovery toward new thinking, actions and behaviors. They incorporate three key ideas:
- Problem Solving: They guide and motivate learners to find solutions by pulling together information and generalizing knowledge.
- Learner Management: They allow participants, working alone or in small teams, to learn in their own ways and at their own pace.
- Integrating and Connecting: They encourage integration of new knowledge into the learner's existing knowledge base and clearly connect to the real world.
Discovery learning ensures learners' brains are engaged at all times. Participants may be manipulating pieces on a game board, working with others to make a decision, or gathering seemingly disconnected pieces of information to solve a problem — but they're actually learning!
Discovery learning simply accelerates the educational process and results in higher levels of retention than more traditional learning approaches do. Its benefits are well documented:
- Training time is condensed
- Programs are fun, fast-paced and energizing
- Participants absorb course content via active participation
- Sessions are highly customizable
- Retention is high
With training time in short supply, and knowledge in great demand, discovery learning can help organizations offer training that works quickly — and very effectively.