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Learn/Play/Prove: 6 Strategic Benefits

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

Momentum is building behind the idea that adult learners incorporate new ideas and concepts into their daily behaviors better when they‘re taught in the context of a “whole task”. This means abandoning the old idea of teaching simple related concepts in small unrelated learning events. Innovative learning struggles instead to teach several simple concepts together as they relate to a larger task.

Learn/Play/Prove units are a simple way to present new content in the context of real-world style task practices to strategically reduce new job-shock. Play is offered using variations of the basic task. Proves are evaluations of “real-world” applications in scenario-based simulations that give learners a sense of mastery and confidence as they progressively develop competency with increasingly complex tasks.

When taken in the context of a whole task, Learn/Play/Prove easily accomplishes the following strategic benefits:


  • Enables novice learners to spend time on what is important to them. They can choose to “Prove” that they possess the required knowledge or skills and thereby avoid the need to “Learn” or to “Play” around topics where they believe they possess the needed level of understanding.

  • Divides learning events into smaller, relevant chunks for when the learner has time to both consume and apply information.

  • Encourages learners to direct the course of their own mastery learning. They can work at their own pace, based on their preferred way of interacting with content, in a job-relevant context.

  • Evaluates a learner’s understanding of the material in a job-centric context. Proves are task-specific assessments of a learner’s ability to apply knowledge and skills in member-focused scenarios.


  • Supports development in reusable learning objects which are easier to update as business and learning requirements change.

  • Provides a reusable learning solution for surge, up-skill, and cross skill audiences. Alternative audiences can use Prove sections to “test out” of tasks they feel they have already mastered. However, if they cannot successfully complete the Prove units, they will be directed to the associated Learn and Play units to enhance their understanding of the task so they can complete the assessment.

Learn/Play/Prove units are a simple way to strategically reduce time to proficiency and overall job-shock in a way that millennial learners enjoy. What other design techniques might pair nicely with Learn/Play/Prove? Share your thoughts or questions in the comments section below.

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