How can reflexive practice and iteration help create rich and user-friendly training courses? Lise Lecours, president of LE-COURS.CA, shared the keys to properly using these two approaches during the 3rd edition of Bootcamp on Training Strategies. Here’s an overview of what the audience learned during the workshop.
Getting learners to observe themselves: this is the objective of reflexive practice, which is the ability of learners to reflect on their actions in order to make informed decisions. “Concretely, it’s about contextualizing the training in order to make connections with the learners’ ways of doing things so they can identify their common mistakes and improve upon them,” explains Lecours, according to whom reflexive practice is user-friendly insofar as the learners can observe themselves in the learning pathway presented to him or her.
Reflecting on their actions
“After capturing the learners’ attention with a situation that makes them reflect, we’ll help them understand the context. In particular, we’ll analyze their actions in these situations and see if there isn’t a better way,” she adds. At this stage, the training will introduce new concepts to lead to other practices and better results. “All of this will prompt a new consideration of the initial situation, which we’ll call reconceptualization. This really enriches the training,” she says. To keep learners engaged throughout the training, this approach should be accompanied by a healthy dose of interactivity to encourage reflection as well as very realistic visuals.
Perfectly complementary to reflexive practice, iteration allows us to propose increasingly complex situations to learners, using the same process and progressively introducing new concepts. “It’s a gradual maturing of learning in order to be able to deal with complex situations. We’ll start with a simple situation that is easy to resolve and make it more complicated as the training progresses. The further we progress in the iterations, the more equipped the learners will be to solve more complex situations.”
In the field, the combined use of these two approaches proved successful during a project for dental hygienists. “For this training, the learners needed to be able to advise a child about the importance of choosing the right snacks to prevent tooth decay. From this, we proposed three modules corresponding to three children of different ages, each with an increasingly complex situation,” explains Ms. Lecours. Each module presented different concepts over three lessons. In the first lesson, the hygienist met the child and learned about the nutritional content of their snacks in order to analyze their overall balance.
In the second lesson, the hygienist needed to analyze the potential decay caused by the snacks. The last lesson presented advice for helping the child improve their eating habits based on the contents of the snacks they eat and their age.
According to Ms. Lecours, the winning combination of reflexive practice and iteration requires an excellent understanding of the context and the learners. “It’s important to provide realistic situations and an accurate reproduction of their work environment.” Alternating between theory and practice is also very important. “We’re going to throw the learners into scenarios as fast as possible and introduce concepts right when they need them to analyze the situation or solve a problem.”
For over 20 years, Lise Lecours has been sharing her expertise in training, eLearning and skills development through several programs that promote a skills-based learning approach.