A distinct advantage of digital bootcamps is their blended modalities of instruction. In addition to virtual classrooms and self-study audiovisual materials, digital bootcamps include hands-on training labs and projects. This approach differentiates digital bootcamps from MOOCs and self-paced learning videos.
Hands-on training allows learning by doing, with learners applying the concepts and skills they are learning in practical examples. In a blended learning environment, self-study materials get reinforcement from classroom instruction and interaction to clarify concepts and demonstrate skills in action.
When digital bootcamps align their learning paths with the job roles that enterprises need, it provides a faster and more effective learning experience.
Contextualized Learning Principles
An important capability of digital bootcamps is contextualized learning. Contextualized learning puts the learning process into the learner’s world of work, so that lessons and exercises reinforce (and are reinforced by) the learner’s job tasks. It includes:
- Hands on experience
- Real world education
- Active learning
- Integrated learning
- Project based learning
- Classroom to career
- Applied learning
Classroom examples can include solving problems that typically arise in the learners’ work. Labs can engage learners in hands-on exercises that require them to apply their new skills directly. Projects can take the form of case studies, where real-world situations form the basis of the assignment. This contextualized learning allows learners to make the direct connection between the skill training and its on-the-job application.
The virtual lab and project platform then lets the learners practice the skill for themselves. They attempt to use the skills and get immediate feedback on whether they have succeeded, as well as what adjustments they need to make if they have fallen short. They can then repeat the exercise until they feel confident in their mastery of the skill.
Digital bootcamps also support supplemental educational opportunities to deepen the learners’ understanding of the skill and its application. These include masterclasses with experts in the field who can provide deeper insights into the industry and technology, especially with regard to real-world applications.
Many bootcamps also include Ask Me Anything sessions that allow learners to ask experts about the specific issues and topics that hold their interest or give them trouble. AMAs increase learner engagement and reduce frustrations with sticking points in the learning process.
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Contextualized Learning for Role-Aligned Skilling
For comprehensive role-aligned skilling programs that comprise a complete set of related courses, the digital bootcamp guides learners through a series of courses in a defined sequence. The program builds the learners’ skills step-by-step to ensure that each learner has the foundation of knowledge and skills to move forward through each step of the program. At each step, the learner can demonstrate a greater level of hands-on skill in solving real-world problems in the subject area.
Such comprehensive role-aligned programs can incorporate a capstone project. The capstone project requires the learner to draw on all of the skills they have gained in the program to simulate a real-world project they might be called on to implement in an actual work environment.
Digital bootcamps can act as mini-apprenticeships, giving learners experience with skills in a supportive learning environment. Each learner builds the set of skills they need for their assigned job role, whether that is their existing role or a new one the enterprise needs them to take on.
Visit our Corporate Training page for more information and to contact us about our corporate training solutions and these engagement models. You can read our complete white paper, How L&D Professionals Are Using Digital Bootcamps To Build Teams Of Tomorrow.