Learning by doing

learning by doing

Learning by doing is a training method that promotes practical hands-on learning experiences (instructional, learning while working). Practical learning is the opposite of theoretical learning, placing the focus on real-life experience. The Learning by doing approach considerably increases the retention of information. 

What is the purpose of Learning by doing? 

The learning by doing approach is used to improve the learning process. But how does it work? When listening, the human brain is said to maintain an optimal level of attention for up to 10 minutes. Beyond that, attention plummets, even if the subject is interesting. Alternatively, we remember up to 75% of what we do. Practical learning is a method that helps learners retain information more effectively.

According to the learning pyramid, practice is one of the most effective ways to retain information. For example, less than 10% of lectures are retained, whereas 90% of information is retained through teaching: 

Learning by Doing is a training method that promotes practical hands-on learning experiences (instructional, learning while working).

How does the Learning by doing approach work? 

The Learning by doing methodology is effective in a digital adoption platform thanks to:

  • Guided walkthroughs

In the context of adopting new digital tools, Learning by doing is effective thanks to guided walkthroughs that instruct learners step-by-step.

  • Repetition 

To retain movement or information as memory, you have to repeat. Learning by doing facilitates practical learning that can be repeated as and when needed. With repeated use, the learner is able to learn from their mistakes and make the right choices independently. 

In practice

Let’s look at two examples of Learning by doing in practice:

  1. Gamification: In corporate training, gamification is widely used to incentive users and improve engagement. One example is the use of badges to indicate learner achievements. Salesforce, Oracle and numerous other tech giants use badges and certifications to engage their users.

According to a study conducted by IBM, 87% of participants reported a higher level of engagement as a result of the company’s digital badge program.

  1. Some companies opt for augmented reality, via connected glasses, to immerse their employees in real life situations. BMW, for example, deploys AR headsets in various factories conducting engine assembly training, to guide employees through each step of the process. It helps them mitigate risks in terms of equipment damage and safety.

The learner’s engagement and stimulation during the learning process are facilitated by hands-on experience. They actively perform the necessary sequence of actions right from the beginning.

The benefits of Learning by doing? 

The Learning by doing methodology offers more effective and efficient training. Here are some of the benefits: 

  • Enhanced retention of information:  

By actively applying what they learn in real-time, learners prevent critical information from being forgotten post-training. Hands-on engagement in the learning process facilitates better memory retention, as the famous saying goes “you never forget how to ride a bike.”

  • Improved employee efficiency and autonomy 

Employees have the opportunity to learn at their own pace. They gain the ability to independently handle risks and errors, and with repeated practice, they become increasingly efficient.

  • Reduce time to value and minimize training costs 

Learning by doing can significantly reduce the time to value of a software or process and increase ROI. Traditional training is often time-consuming and ineffective, resulting in additional training costs. Learning by doing facilitates engagement and repetition at every stage of training, reducing training costs. 

  • Change management. 

Organizational and digital transformation is a catalyst for employee resistance to change, requiring effective and customizable training that is accessible to all. Learning by doing helps to facilitate effective change through repetition, autonomy, confidence and more. In addition, Learning by doing allows companies to measure and adapt training according to individual needs (e.g., digital adoption platform).

Learning by doing pedagogy promotes engagement so that the learner not only retains information, but understands it. 

Learning by doing in companies

Learner engagement is the added value of Learning by doing. Unlike traditional training methods, each step of the learning process requires hands-on engagement. Moreover, Learning by doing is a vital contributor to effective change management. 

What better way to adopt change than hands-on practical experience? Learning by doing provides employees with the necessary methodology to improve their understanding and relationship to change.

Learning by doing & digital tools 

Increasing and inevitable digital transformation, means more and more business tools are being deployed. These tools require better support to master these tools. The Learning by doing methodology makes passive learning a thing of the past, considerably increasing the success rate of digital adoption.

Digital adoption platforms are one of the most effective tools to implement Learning by doing training. A DAP allows companies to guide users step-by-step through all their digital training on any web based solutions, directly inside the software.


Lukas Joseph

En tant que directeur marketing chez Lemon Learning, j'aime explorer les dernières tendances du secteur pour apporter des solutions efficaces à nos clients. Toujours à l'affût des nouveautés, j'aime partager mes découvertes et réflexions à travers mes articles sur notre blog. Je suis convaincu que l'innovation est la clé de la réussite dans ce domaine en constante évolution.