An easy-to-follow framework for building digital learning scenarios.
What is CCAF?
CCAF (Context, Challenge, Activity, and Feedback) is a design model used to create interactive learning activities. Created by Michael Allen, CCAF consists of the following elements:
- Context: a meaningful framework and conditions.
- Challenge: a stimulus or urgency to act.
- Activity: a physical response or gesture in response to the challenge.
- Feedback: the reflection back to the learner concerning the effectiveness of their actions.
Why is this model useful?
The CCAF model promotes active learning through relevant activities. It includes feedback to support greater motivation and engagement. The model focuses on the learner ‘doing’ things — such as making decisions and taking actions — rather than knowing things. This promotes learning design that leans towards active as opposed to passive.
The relevant context of the activities aligns to adult learning principles and help the learner identify “what’s in it for me”. By having to make key decisions in situations that the learner may find themselves in, they get to experience the consequences of their actions in a safe environment, learn from mistakes and receive corrective feedback. By experiencing an interactive, real-life situation, learners show greater levels of motivation and engagement.
How is CCAF used?
CCAF is particularly useful in the creation of corporate scenario-based digital learning activities in the form of simulations, case studies and branching scenarios. Some things to consider for each part of CCAF are outlined below:
- Context: provide a real-life situation that will resonate with the target learner. If based in an office, use images of the actual office. Base the activities on tasks the learner must carry out as part of their job.
- Challenge: create challenges that are related to work goals. Include distractors and common misconceptions. Provide ‘pull learning’ opportunities where the learner can access additional content to help them overcome the challenge, but don’t force them to consume large blocks of content.
- Activity: provide the learner with the ability to apply knowledge, make critical decisions or solve problems related to their work environment.
- Feedback: once the learner reaches this point, they are primed for learning. Provide feedback in the form of extreme consequences and provide feedback from various viewpoints so learners can observe the results of their actions from multiple perspectives.
Pros: Simple framework for building interactive scenarios.
Cons: Not suitable for whole courses.