Moving Towards Experiential Learning For Effective Understanding

The world is smack dab in the middle of a digital revolution. The era when rote learning was the norm is long gone. The time when static classrooms were all that was required to teach is a thing of past. The next generation is moving towards experiential learning. Colleges, universities and even schools are bringing in a new future of education where business simulation games are the standard. In this article, we explore what experiential learning and the things that it entails is.

• Understanding experiential learning: When technology, schools, and community combine to teach a concept, topic or subject to a learner it is called experiential learning. The objective is to ensure that a person realises that what they are being taught is directly related to their world. This type of knowledge also allows an individual to dive deep into concepts. It moves beyond theoretical education and steps into action which gives the learner the freedom to make errors. It is by making mistakes that they are able to comprehend better and learn faster.

Furthermore, experiential learning is personal. Each student can understand and grasp a concept at their own pace. They are not limited by the speed with which another person learns. A student can also be as creative in understanding a subject as they want. Instead of seeing mistakes as a negative consequence they are celebrated because they add to the learning curve. To guide the students, generally, there is an advisor.

• The Need Of Experiential Learning: The number one reason that gave rise to a learner-focused method was the mingling of students. Imagine a school that has individuals from 50 different countries. Each person has had a primary education that was different from the others which means they way they imbibe new knowledge also varies. So, how does a school like this create a curriculum that fits all? The answer lied with experiential learning – a method where the student-owned their learning. A procedure that had not set formula for success.

• The Framework of experiential learning: When a college or school is building coursework that is based on experiential learning, they need to think of 7 competencies. These competencies form a structure around which education can be focused on an individual.

They are:
o Self-Assessor is one who thinks of health, mind, spirituality, and organization
o Contributor makes a difference to the surrounding world while having empathy and understanding
o A creator is an innovator, designer, and maker of new things
o Communicator uses oral, written, visual, musical, non-verbal and dance modes with compassion
o Collaborator has the ability to be a team member, leader, and negotiator, sharer
o Explorer is the person who shows curiosity, takes risks and experiments
o A thinker is creative, critical, analytical and broad-minded

Education has undergone a transformation, and any academic institute who wants to stay ahead needs to keep up. Learning theories and practices with real-life experience is the only way forward because one can understand concepts at a deeper level and create memorable learning experiences.

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Personalized Experiential Learning – What Is It All About?

There was a time when the entire learning process meant only one of listening to a long lecture in a boring class. The only problem with the old method of “static classrooms” involving rote learning was that it literally made the students bored, often leading to a point where they lost interest in the subject itself, and in the learning process. Things have changed a lot since then, and teaching methods are constantly evolving to make room for technology. The learning process is no longer what it used to be, thanks to a new concept known as experiential learning.

Many educational institutions, especially schools, colleges and higher centers of education are moving in to accept this new and interesting way of learning, and this is expected to be the future of the education process. One of the remarkable features of experiential learning is that it involves business simulation games, which are quickly being accepted by universities across the US, especially in the mid-west. Business schools have understood the benefits of having such a learning method and are offering courses on business simulation because they feel that it is a progressive alternative to traditional education.

There are several reasons why experiential learning is a great alternative to traditional teaching methods.

Getting Practice And Theory Together

People who want to learn swimming will know how important it is to have practical classes, no matter how much the entire technique has been explained to them. The same goes for several subjects. This method ensures that it closes the divide between practice and theory and helps students to understand the concept more clearly. This method allows students in developing skills such as:
Solving problems
Critical thinking skills and
Making decisions correctly.

The best thing about this method is that it provides an environment which is safe. This is a safe learning environment for students to try-out various experiments about a subject and this will even be able to help them to get a feedback on how they are doing, giving them a chance to understand the subject in real terms and what can go wrong, so that they can understand how to get it right the next time.

Each student is unique with a unique set of problem-solving and analytical skills. Therefore the entire learning process is personalized. The best thing about experiential learning is that it allows students to understand the concept at their own pace. They can also be as creative as possible so that they understand the concept clearly. Even mistakes are taken in a positive sense.

It is stated that there is nothing like a self-directed learning process. Experiential learning helps exactly in this because it allows the students to think on their own and come up with new and creative ideas to tackle a particular theoretical problem. The entire process of learning is an experience in itself, helping the student to evolve and make the right choices after clearly understanding the concept.

Thus it can be seen that the experiential learning process is a great new way of learning.

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How Can Personalized Experiential Learning Benefit Students?

When it comes to learning something new, teachers are aware of the fact that each student is different, or rather, unique and have an exclusive set of skills. Some students might be extremely good in math, while some other may have a flair for writing, or science or history. Because each student is unique, it is up to the teachers to ensure that they bring out their best. Teachers at the Future Design School are considered as “designers” because their role is far more than the role of a traditional teacher. They are able to show an understanding of the needs of the students and identify the interests and strengths of each student. Teachers are thus able to come up with unique learning programs that are unique to the needs of the students. This entire process, which is remarkably different from that in regular schools is called differentiation. The concept of personalized learning is highly important in such a place and students have a lot to gain from this unique and progressive concept.Therefore:

The idea behind such a concept is to customize the learning process of every student based on his or her unique strength, interest and needs.

This gives a chance for students to express their opinions and viewpoints about how they learn, when they learn and what they learn, thus giving them the much-needed flexibility, allowing them to grow at their own pace and achieve the best that they can.

Helping Students Grow With Personalised Learning

Consequently, personalized learning has an important purpose – which is that of opening new avenues for students to learn and grow, while simultaneously encouraging students to voice their opinion and allow them the choose an education that they want. The most important part of the concept of personalized learning is that it allows for a learning environment that is personalized and customized to suit the skill sets of each student. This feature is an essential part of the education process because it allows the students to bring out the best in them. Thus students are able to meet their “mentors” within their unique learning environment, enabling to succeed like never before. This lack of personalization in many schools is what brings in a gap between the student and their learning process. Hence this personalization is necessary to make the student success that will be pertinent to her interests.

It would be a good idea for a teacher to use this approach of learning that is project-based, as it increases the motivation of the student. It also allows students to get a better ability to grasp the relevant questions in the subject and think on their own. Thus students are able to hone their analytical skills, come up with new ideas, and improve their communication skills and more than anything to get an in-depth understanding of the subject. Students will also be able to connect the subjects with real-life situations and this, in turn, will increase their confidence levels. Thus the concept of personalized learning is truly a progressive concept.

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