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Advantages and disadvantages of learning-by-doing

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Cristyn Narciso
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I found this course very informative and easy to understand. I am just getting started in working with supply chains/manufacturing and enjoyed this free course.
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Ankit Kumar
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Very basic but yet an effective course. An easy explanation of different processes of a Supply Chain. The mentor has explained everything through pictures and flow charts which made it easy to understand. He has also provided the slides used in the course for later reference. Good for anyone who is new to the Supply Cain. I really wish him to create a more detailed and advanced course.
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Laverne Angela Gadiah
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Thank you for a very clear, easy to follow and concise course. It was informative and definitely on point.
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In this world, it is increasingly important to be fast. Life, technology, techniques, and everything changes day by day at an impressive speed, and if you take the time to be updated you stay in the past. That’s why today specialized learning attunes with your personality is highly important.

As a result of this, personal and individual learning arises, where people begin practical learning which has proven to be very useful not only on a personal level but also on a professional level.

Before explaining the benefits and the disadvantages of this method it is important to get familiar with it and to really understand how the learning by doing method works.

What exactly is the learning-by-doing method?

Learning by doing as its name refers is the action of learning concepts, techniques, and methods by putting them into action. This methodology is oriented to action, instead of wasting all the time trying to understand the principles or the norms, this methodology steps to the point of actually doing and learning by trial and error.

This method puts the practice first and the theory second to achieve the goals and objectives in a faster way. For this, the companies focus all their resources on the strategy to achieve the main goal.

To succeed in the implementation of any concept, method, process, or change using the learning-by-doing method means knowing and understanding the important points of the necessary concepts and transforming them into reality.

While using this method, trial and error have an important part. With this experimentation, the defects or mistakes show up and it is easy and cheap to make the corresponding corrections.

This technique has been around for a long time and the results of its implementation have been surprisingly effective. The practicality of this method is that it is applicable in all industries, services, and places, this method is also useful in all age ranges.

Why does the technique of learning by doing work?

The human brain can only maintain 10 minutes of optimal attention while listening or reading. So, to increase the level of attention it’s important to connect the person with the learning process. Doing is clearly more effective, a person can easily remember 75% by doing stuff compared to only 5% by listening.

The practice involves two factors: risk and emotions. The first factor of risk refers to the risk of doing something. It involves the possibility of a mistake, a failure, and the risk of limits. By experiencing it ourselves the error is easier to understand and correct. On the other hand, we have the factor of emotions: while doing stuff we can experience all sorts of emotions. They make remembering more effective by associating things with practice.

The method of learning-by-doing works also thanks to the effect of mimicry. It is scientifically proven that people focus more of their attention on learning something when they know they are going to have to repeat the action after the explanation. The act of immediate practice activates the same areas of the brain that are responsible for an already known activity.

The benefits of learning by doing

Some of the most noticed benefits shown by applying the methodology of learning by doing are:

  1. Higher memorability

People are more likely to remember things by themselves. When people participate in the process instead of just watching or listening it is easier to retain the information for a longer time.

  1. Higher personalization

Each person learns in a different way and at a different time. So, by applying this method each person is responsible for their learning process and can achieve understanding in a better and more specific way.

  1.  Connected community

This type of learning method being a more social method involves the world and the environment instead of just learning alone with a book. This method works in the real world with all the real restrictions, and the results are more accurate.

  1. Higher integration

This method integrates the new methodologies with the person and with the world. This learning-by-doing methodology works in real life and integrates all the factors involved. 

  1. Builds success skills

One of the most important benefits of this methodology is the improvement of success skills. It works by improving your mentality to have more optimal thinking and a faster reaction to solve errors and defects.

Disadvantages of learning by doing

As with everything in life, this methodology has positive and not-so-positive sides. Some of the disadvantages that the learning by doing methodology has are:

  1. Failures and errors

The most noticeable disadvantage of learning by doing will be the number of failures. This can be relative: in some cases, it could be irrelevant but for more expensive processes the method may not be very convenient. 

  1. Emotional results

Another disadvantage of this learning methodology is the emotional part. Some people are very sentimental and when they make a mistake the reaction could be highly negative. Failure is something normal in everyday life, but for some people this can be an obstacle in the process of learning, making them feel down and disappointed and quit after the first trial.

  1. Variable time

Each person learns in his own time, some people may learn in a few trials but for others, it may take more effort to succeed in the learning process of an activity or process. This is something variable because one person can take lots of time learning one activity but another activity may take just seconds to achieve. 

Real-life examples

To understand a little more about this learning methodology here are some examples of where Learning-by-doing can be applied.

One great example is event planners, you can plan all processes and logistics to the last tiny detail but until the moment when the actual event starts you won’t be able to understand how planning an event works. And over time with more events behind, you realize you are becoming an expert.

Another good example is the automotive industry. After all, the process is complete and you finally have an assembly car even if you complete a series of trials at the end you will need to actually drive the car in the real world to check the velocity, the acceleration time, and the correct function of all the components.

These are just some of the examples of using learning-by-doing. But, basically, you will find it in every activity we perform.

To sum up

This methodology can be a great option. However, it is necessary for any business to first evaluate the process or activity for learning, and to consider if this technique is optimal or if a different technique would be better. The important thing is that the learner feels comfortable, this way the learning process will be easier and faster.

Have you already optimized your business processes for maximum efficiency? Have a look at our blog for news and insights on Lean Manufacturing, Industrial Engineering, and Supply Chain & Operations Management.

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