Action Learning + Test Ideas

Collaborations exist in a dynamic environment; conditions in the community are constantly changing. As such, collaborations must be able to adapt as they maintain their focus on achieving the systems change that is necessary to thrive.

What is Action Learning?

Action learning is an outcomes-oriented improvement process for solving complex problems. It uses data to understand an issue and identify needs, match solutions, determine strategies, take action, evaluate, and reflect.

Learning takes place in a cycle where the steps are repeated to support continuous learning and improvement. Action learning allows for adaptation based on what is learned, making small changes along the way to achieving your goals. It promotes efficient usage of resources, builds cohesiveness, and encourages innovation and systems thinking.

Different models exist, including Plan-Do-Study-Act, Build Measure Learn, and the Improvement Kata.

Group of people supporting a cause

Additional Tools

ExceleRate Illinois provides tools and resources on continuous quality improvement for programs.

Action learning and system change are also being further connected and examined in the growing field of developmental evaluation.