A key benefit of challenge-based learning is career advancement. As learners build essential skills and gain invaluable hands-on experience, they gain lifelong growth potential. What does this mean? This means the encouragement of a healthy mindset along with future-proof skills to drive growth in the present day and the future of work.
The following four elements of growth potential detail this important benefit that can be gained from challenge-based learning:
The ‘growth mindset’ describes a determined, growth-conducive attitude towards self-development and organizational development.
Whether in a school, work, or general life context, those with a growth mindset work hard to continuously learn new things and develop their real-world skills in order to be the best version of themselves that they can be—and, when applicable, the best employee they can be, in driving accelerated growth for the organization they work for.
Growth is founded by innovative thinking. Employers nowadays are fostering a growth mindset culture within the workplace to cultivate innovation that will help the organization maintain and increase success in the future. Challenge-based learners adopt the growth mindset as they practice innovating real-world solutions, which requires them to look for areas of weakness within themselves and the world around them to solve a problem using innovative skills.
Challenge-based learning is essentially a learning method that forces the learners to look within themselves for self-development while actively practicing innovation, which in turn builds a mindset of continuous improvement for the individual and the team they work within.
While traditional learning rewards tangible achievements like good grades or successful work deliverables, challenge-based learning rewards effort. This is important because it teaches learners to appreciate the process and the journey over the end result.
Emphasizing the process, learners focus more on development than basic achievement. Across various age groups in Apple’s CBL studies, students became more motivated to grow and develop their own skills, especially those students who were the most unengaged in traditional learning.
Enthusiasm for learning
Challenge-based learning also inspires learners to become enthusiastic about learning.
This enthusiasm translates to ‘lifelong learning,’ which is a continuous thirst for learning and self-improvement, hand-in-hand with the growth mindset.
With challenge-based learning, learners enjoy the collaborative learning experience in which they connect with others who motivate them to work hard for the purpose of their individual learning.
Moreover, researchers have found that challenge-based learning results in higher knowledge retention than traditional learning, meaning learners are motivated to continue learning and succeeding.
Challenge-based learners gain more growth potential because they form a genuine appreciation for lifelong learning, self-development, and the learning process.
Challenge-based learning builds future-proof skills. These skills are the tangible toolkit that allows learners to turn their growth potential into reality.
With digital literacy skills, problem solving, collaborative skills, creativity, critical thinking, and more, learners are equipped with a set of skills that last a lifetime, and that will stand the test of time against automation and future technological advancement.
With the hands-on opportunity to practise and learn these skills, learners gain confidence in their abilities—which then fuels them to continue working hard and growing their potential for personal and professional advancement in life
Researchers emphasize that educators and employers should implement challenge-based learning for the purpose of building future-proof skills that will drive continuous economic sustainability in the future of work.
With the confidence, motivation, and tangible skills to succeed long-term, challenge-based learners can tackle the unpredictable challenges the future will bring for both their individual growth and their employer’s organizational growth.
Courageous, productive failure
Because it prioritizes innovation, challenge-based learning requires learners to take risks as they experiment with new ways of thinking and problem-solving.
In doing so, they inevitably make mistakes and must work past those mistakes to find the innovative solution that works.
This resilience will help them navigate their career and life, guiding them to take risks to achieve their ambitions and passions.
Real-world studies of challenge-based learning have demonstrated the effect that the method has on learners’ productive risk-taking ability.
High school students in Apple’s challenge-based learning study learned to appreciate the whole growth process, including their mistakes.
They were able to view their mistakes and setbacks as learning opportunities rather than failures, and in adopting this attitude, they were further motivated to innovate successfully.
90% of teachers of all grade levels reported that students’ innovation skills improved significantly as they worked through difficulties and risk-taking.
Moreover, a study with medical students found that with challenge-based learning, the students significantly increased their risk-taking, or “pattern breaking” skills for innovation implementation.
Challenge-based learning is a non-traditional method of learning that provides learners with growth potential in the real world.
Whether the learning is implemented in a formal school setting or a workplace talent development program, the hands-on approach inspires a growth mindset, enthusiasm for learning, future-proof skills, and courageous, productive failure, all of which drive sustainable success for the future of work.