Discovery learning is a powerful instructional approach that guides and motivates learners to explore information and concepts, embrace new knowledge, and apply new behaviors back on the job. Using this methodology, organizations can educate their employees quickly and with higher levels of retention than traditional training methods.
Paradigm Learning creates business games, simulations and communication tools that are based in the educational principle of discovery learning, which says people learn best when they're actively involved in the learning process. Some of the world's largest companies have used our sophisticated behavior-change methodology to build business acumen, accountable leadership, team effectiveness, project management, employee alignment and more.
Well-designed discovery learning educational sessions are highly experiential and interactive, using stories, games, simulations, visual maps and other techniques to grab attention, pique curiosity, build interest and lead participants along journey of discovery toward new thinking, actions and behaviors. When learners roll dice, move game pieces and respond to chance events, they're not only having fun - they're also deeply immersed in the discovery learning process.
Sometimes described as "learning by doing," discovery learning takes place in situations where learners draw on their own experiences and knowledgeto solve problems. It is an inquiry-based educational method, encouraging participants to deal with realistic scenarios by exploring, experimenting and pondering a series of increasingly difficult challenges.
Discovery learning educational sessions 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 solo 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 has been on the educational forefront since the 1940s, when psychologist Jerome Bruner developed the first theories around the idea that perception is an active process. Aligned with the research of Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980), Bruner expanded on the concept that people are better able to remember new information when they are able to connect it to something they already know.
The most effective business games and simulations are those that find direct connections to participants' own day-to-day jobs and their organization's conditions. For employee training and corporate trainers, the benefits of discovery learning are well documented:
- Training time is condensed
- Programs are fun, fast-paced and energizing
- Participants absorb course content via active participation in a mix of digital and physical environments
- Sessions are highly customizable
- Retention is high
With training time in short supply, and knowledge in greater demand, discovery learning can help organizations offer training that works quickly - and very effectively.