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Why, Learn, Try, Apply, Share - a structure for engagement and embedding practice

In today’s blog, I’d like to share an approach we’ve been using at Guroo Producer to structure our eLearning modules in a logical flow which allows the learner to practice to learn, practice, and (most importantly) apply their learning on-the-job.

There are five phases; why, learn, try, apply, and share. To illustrate the process, I’ll share an example of an eLearning module on decision-making tools we developed as part of a broader program for one of our clients. 



This is the introduction to your module and is designed to pique the learner’s interest and set them up for success. It provides the context for the learning, and answers the important question, ‘What’s In It For Me?’ (WIIFM).

In the module we developed on Decision-Making Tools, the Why’ phase provides some context for the decision-making processes covered in the module, and why these are important to the organisation. We included an interview with a senior leader how tools can help leaders make better decisions (to show the link to business goals and add credibility), and some quick vox pops from people around the organisation on the decision-making tools they use and why they use them (to show them how the learning will help them do their job better). 


In this phase, we cover the key information the learner needs to know. The learning is integrated with challenge questions to ensure comprehension of key points.

In the ‘Learn’ section of our decision making eLearning, the ‘virtual coach’ takes the learner through the key decision making processes. Along the way they answer some questions to keep them engaged and ensure understanding. When the learner meets a learning milestone (based on the learning objectives) they are rewarded with a badge.


Learners now have the opportunity to practice what they have learned in an interactive scenario based on real-world application. They receive detailed feedback as they progress, particularly where capability gaps exist.

In our module on decision making processes, the ‘try’ section presents the learner with a real-world scenario about improving the customer experience. The learner needs to apply the frameworks they have learned, in order to identify the problem, decide what decision making tools they should use, and make a decision on how to solve the problem. As they move through the scenario, they receive tailored feedback from the ‘virtual coach’ and are directed to additional learning where needed.


One of the common complaints about eLearning is that there is often no direct application to the learner’s work. In the ‘apply’ phase, the learner will be given a workplace activity to embed their learning on-the-job.

In our decision making module, the learner is tasked with applying the key processes to a decision they are facing in their own role. This is supported by an interactive job aid to assist them in selecting the right decision making tools.

Learners are then prompted to reflect on their experience using the processes, and share the outcome with their peers on an internal Yammer page dedicated to the program.


Learners have a further opportunity to embed their learning by reflecting on their on-the-job application and sharing their reflections with their peers.

In the Decision-Making Program, learners were prompted to reflect on their experience using the tools, and share the outcome with their peers on an internal Yammer page dedicated to the program.

This approach to structuring eLearning works particularly well when you are introducing processes or frameworks the learner needs to use on-the-job, as it gives them opportunity to practice their skills in the module before applying them in their role.



Donna Hanson-Squires
14 April 2021 3 Min Read

How does this look in action?
We adopted the why, learn, try, apply approach in partnership with the AGSM in a leadership program designed for executive managers. 


You can read more about it in our Case Study.



If you want to understand more of our philosophy and how we've used these principles to develop our eLearning tools, the Learning Canvas Toolkit is for you.

Scope like a pro as you align your stakeholders and focus on your learners right from the start in this free download. You will also receive guidance on creating learner personas and developing project goals to further streamline your development.

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