Trainer Support Materials

Creating Rich Environments for Active Learning research

A checklist to challenge each learning design

6th February 2023

Creating Rich Environments for Active Learning research
At Experiential Learning tools we apply Rich Environments for Active Learning (REALs) research to ensure that our learning design includes these 4 core methodologies:

  • Generative Learning
  • Co-operative Learning
  • Learner-Centered Learning 
  • Problem-Based Learning.

What are REALs?
REALs, which stands for Rich Environments for Active Learning, are intricate instructional systems that weave together a myriad of strategies and cutting-edge educational technologies. The concept and terminology of REALs didn't just emerge out of the blue; it has its roots in the meticulous research and studies conducted in the realm of e-learning.

The term "REALs" was coined and popularized by Grabinger and his colleagues, notably in collaborations such as Grabinger and Dunlap's 1995 work. Their research delved deep into the intricacies of e-learning, exploring how rich, immersive environments could foster more active and engaged learning experiences. Their findings underscored the importance of creating learning environments that were not just information-rich but also interactive and engaging, ensuring that learners were not just passive recipients but active participants in their educational journey.

In our quest to optimize learning design, we've taken the foundational principles of REALs and distilled them into a streamlined checklist. This checklist serves as a guiding tool, ensuring that every learning environment we craft, be it a straightforward learning game or an intricate, large-scale simulation, adheres to the core tenets of Rich Environments for Active Learning. By doing so, we aim to create educational experiences that are not only informative but also immersive and engaging, truly embodying the essence of REALs.

Our friends over at RSVP Design have prepared a checklist to challenge each learning design. Download the checklist pdf for free to apply the principles to your sessions.

Are you apply REALs to your work? We would love to hear about, please get in touch with the team.

Graham @experientialLT

A core member of the ELT Team

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