Designing Outcome-Based Practice Activities

Reflection without action is not learning. The first two parts of the 4MAT cycle, Engage and Share, emphasize the importance of reflection. In Practice, the learner moves into action.

Effective practice activities emphasize the development of the skills the learners will need to successfully apply the information in the real world. To determine the most effective activities to include in your training design, focus on the skills required to deliver the desired performance.  Ask yourself: What behaviors must be executed consistently to deliver the desired results? What skills must the learner possess to competently execute these behaviors?

For example, if you are designing a product education course, the activities chosen should directly link to the desired outcome. In the left-hand column of the table below, you will find three variations of a skills outcome statement for a product education course. On the right, you will find a practice training activity that aligns with each outcome. Notice how the activity links to the outcome focus.


If the desired skill outcome defined for the course requires that learners adapt the information shared, learners should have an opportunity to practice adaptation. You will want to check the learners’ fundamental understanding of the content before creating an opportunity for creative adaptation.

Source: Engage, The Trainer’s Guide to Learning Styles (Wiley 2012)
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