Let Them Make Mistakes… And Learn!
Consider this! You have completed a training course and now you need to take a test. You give it a shot and unfortunately you fail in the test and are denied of the course completion certificate. You end up feeling bad!
You are playing a game. It has a lot of levels and it’s pretty difficult to cross each level. You are trying your best to cross them but keep failing. You don’t lose heart and keep trying until you cross the level. And you don’t stop there… Bring on the next level!
Found some difference in these situations? One is a training course, where the learner is made to feel like a loser on making mistakes and the other is a game, where even on losing, he is motivated enough to cross the levels.
Don’t you think we should follow the gaming spirit for our trainings as well, where the learners are allowed to make mistakes… And keep making them until they succeed?
I think there’s nothing wrong in making mistakes, unless it’s a fatal mistake! The initial stage of learning anything new involves a lot of setbacks. We actually learn better if we make more errors because we get a first-hand experience of moving into an incorrect direction and then we walk that extra mile to correct our wrong move.
So, why not use trainings as a simulated environment, where the learners are allowed to make mistakes. And more the number of mistakes they make, more training experiences they receive, as a bonus.
We need to allow the learners to make mistakes and NEVER make them feel that they have done some blunder. This can be a brilliant instructional design opportunity for us to train our learners and clarify the concepts by taking them through some remedial content. We can make them feel that here’s an opportunity to learn more about the topic and they just got this opportunity because they were fortunate enough to make a mistake. 🙂
I honestly feel that we need to concentrate more on creating engaging learning experience for them to be self-motivated to learn and take it as a challenge to master it; instead of worrying about scoring well in the test.
Something to ponder over…
- Why do we need to threaten our learners with the post-tests?
- Why do we set high percentage scores to mark the course complete?
- Are these scores going to make any difference in how they perform on their job?
- Most importantly, are the post-tests really comprehensive enough to test everything they’ve learned?
- Isn’t concept clarity more important for a course to be termed as successful?
What do you say? Do leave a comment here to let me know about your thoughts.
My mantra for the day: “Making mistakes is cool!” 🙂