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Decision-based learning – insights into our choices

We make decisions everyday, but how do we learn to make the right choice?

From what you want to eat for breakfast to important choices at work, we rarely stop to think how we’ve learned to make these day-to-day decisions. We’ve taken a look into decision-based learning to understand how we make the right choice.

What is decision-based learning?

Decision-based learning can be used in education or professional development to help learners understand situations properly and the process behind making the most effective decision.

In typical decision-based learning the conditional knowledge is taught first. The BYU say that this is the knowledge of when or under what conditions concepts and procedures apply – so, understanding the problem and strategy.

Usually, you’re then presented with a problem and decision points. Ensuring you have the correct conditional knowledge, you will make the correct decision. If not, your decision should reiterate the knowledge and help you to understand why your decision was incorrect.

Once you are able to understand the correct decision and how to implement it, you learn how best to communicate your decision.

It is crucial as a learner to retain engagement throughout the learning of decision making. Without engagement, your understanding of the process will be much more limited. To achieve results or the desired goal, decisions need to be made systematically using the process learned.

“While making the absolute best decision is often important, how you leave people feeling is always important. Decisions made with clarity produce the best results across the board.”
Ann Latham, Forbes

Decision-based learning in practice

Many sectors including healthcare, education, emergency services and corporate organisations are turning to decision-based learning. Implementing this method of learning has been very successful and crucial to embedding core processes into day-to-day work.

Effective decision-making training developed by Kineo teaches the decision making process through a 70 minute elearning module. Kineo understand that certain situations require more thought into the approach. So, the course allows learners to understand when decisions should be made, how to communicate and which decision is best.

The course also gives learners the opportunity to review their decisions. This ensures the most effective decision is made on the job – a great element to ensure engagement and knowledge retention.

Alternatively, the Decision making – e-learning course from Trainer Bubble uses text, graphics, images, videos, interactivity and ongoing tests to teach learners a systematic approach to allow timely and smarter decisions. The use of various teaching methods ensures higher engagement to allow a deeper understanding of making informed decisions.

The Shared Decision Making (SDM) programme by E-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) was developed to apply shared decision making in practice and to teach healthcare professionals the skills they need. With patients wanting more involvement in their care, SDM promotes involvement and engagement when decisions are being made regarding patient care – making a cultural change to healthcare.

SDM promotes better practice at work through the use of films presenting good and bad practice. Through film, the conditional knowledge is taught to ensure learners are able to make effective decisions further into the programme and on the job.

Near-life™ learning

The SDM programme can be enhanced using our immersive, interactive online learning. Near-Life™ enhances elearning by using gamification to put learners through an immersive, role-play experience; achieving higher engagement and retention. Healthcare professionals have the chance to experience realistic simulated scenarios to develop and test their decision making skills.

St John Ambulance used our pioneering Near-Life™ technology allowing the public to test their skills in the face of a crisis. Learners have the opportunity to understand how to make the right decision with real life timings. The training not only bridges gaps in their knowledge but builds confidence in making the right decisions that may save a life: a fantastic use of technology.

Why use decision-based learning?

Using this type of approach will evidently improve learning outputs. It will also work on motivation, prevent conflict and allow more time effective work – what more could you want?

The more practice that goes into the process of making decisions, the less conflict there will be. From then, it works like the domino effect. Faster decisions equal more productivity resulting in increased motivation to continue – one by one achieving and succeeding.

Making better decisions also allows others to have more trust and respect in you as a decision-maker. As someone leading the process, this is something you would really want to fulfil.

What are the problems?

It is clear that decision making can be taught using various methods. However, it’s important to understand that learners need to be engaged for training to be effective. Using various ways to teach online, blended learning or immersive technology are all great ways to keep the learner engaged.

It is equally important that even after effective decision making, learners don’t use ‘mental shortcuts’. These shortcuts make decisions quicker however can result in making the wrong judgement and misunderstanding the problem and process. This essentially makes the training ineffective, but it is understandable as to why this can happen so easily.

Mental shortcuts can go hand in hand with being overconfident. Whilst you may reach a point of thinking you know exactly how to make effective decisions and can quickly come to a choice it can again lead to misjudgement and further problems – something which could lose your trust and respect as a decision-maker.

The right approach for the future?

There is more to decision making than we think and it is important to understand the process to achieve success. Decision-based learning can have a big impact, transforming employees into faster, more reliable and effective decision-makers.

With training becoming less monotonous and more tailored, more professionals should consider it within their learning and development.

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