Workshops Designing And Facilitating Experiential Learning PdfBy Mayhew V. In and pdf 25.03.2021 at 10:10 4 min read
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- Why is experiential learning important?
- Experiential Learning
- Experiential learning
Today's world is dynamic and ever-changing. It's become widely accepted that children born at the late end of the 20th century and subsequent generations can expect to have around five careers over the course of a lifetime. Online classes and specialised skill workshops are becoming easy ways for employees to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and skills necessary to thrive in today's modern workplace.
Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand. Experiential learning is not a new idea. People have learnt through experience from the beginning of time.
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Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand. Experiential learning is not a new idea. People have learnt through experience from the beginning of time. It is at least as old as learning from others and certainly pre-dates learning from books and other written resources.
Kolb and Ron Fry in the s, their scholarship drew on previous studies and some of the basic principles can be traced back to the likes of Confucius and Aristotle. Many business leaders and trainers have questioned how people could learn their profession through experiential learning. Experiential learning was perhaps rightly considered less effective for the transfer of knowledge.
However, with the rise of the digital age, transfer of knowledge is less important and the development of skills is ever more so. Computers are infinitely better at storing and remembering factual information than people.
Why commit detailed product knowledge to memory, when you can access specifications at a touch of a button? Man and machine work most effectively when we recognise these relative strengths and weaknesses.
The idea of using computers as a memory bank, whilst we focus on analysis, connecting the dots and making decisions, may seem futuristic. Yet, many of us already rely on technology to remember vast amounts of the daily knowledge we need. Just think of the information stored in your outlook diaries, phone contacts, etc.
This suggests that professionals no longer feel the need to gain knowledge to be successful in their role. The Knowledge Shift : With the birth of the internet, job roles no longer require employees to store knowledge in their own minds. No worries. Just let me know where to send it just takes 5 seconds. In other words, organisations are now looking to develop their people in those areas where it is more complicated than a simple search.
Developing people is no longer about transferring knowledge, but about developing the mindset, structure and skills to enable success. These new areas of focus lend themselves to experiential learning techniques.
Knowledge transfer, where necessary, is often best delivered through digital learning options. The best firms are already making this shift. Their research also indicated that whilst these high-performance firms are investing in designing and managing robust experiential leadership opportunities, lower performing firms are focusing entirely on traditional classroom and e-learning programmes. Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience; through doing and reflecting on a task.
Whilst organisations see great value from the first kind of experiential learning, it does lack structure, it is difficult to measure and has inherent risks — there are some things you would not want an untrained professional to attempt if they had no previous experience in the area.
Arguably, this form of experiential learning should be a constant by-product of our daily working lives. As long as an organisation has a culture where employees feel able to try new things, learn from their mistakes and expand their horizons, learning from our experiences at work should be a natural and ongoing part of working life. The second style specifically created experiential activities aims to combine the benefits of traditional training e.
Activities are designed to enable learners to gain new skills and develop their capability through hands-on practice in low-risk environments. However, for both types, there is more to experiential learning than simply attempting a task.
A key element of experiential learning is reflection. After attempting a task, the learner must reflect on their approach and explore where they could improve.
The principal thinker in experiential learning is David A. That given the right stimulus and opportunities, we will naturally be able to process our experiences into valuable learning.
The Experiential Learning Cycle : Kolb and Fry argued that experiential learning should be seen as a continuous 4-stage cycle. Kolb and Fry postulated that the learner could begin this cycle at any point and that it should be seen as a continuous spiral.
With each cycle, the learner refines and develops their approach, gaining more experience, greater understanding and greater levels of expertise. Learning is gradual and occurs as the learner makes small and incremental improvements with every cycle. Experiential Learning Theory receives both praise and criticism from scholars and practitioners alike. Critics challenge the way Kolb emphasises individual experience over other cultural, social and conceptual aspects of learning.
For example, the cycle ignores the value of sharing knowledge or learning from others. In the next section, we explore some of the strengths and weaknesses of experiential learning, when compared with more traditional approaches to workplace training and coaching. Experiential learning theory differs greatly to more traditional training models.
In experiential learning, the entire process is centred on the learner and the model does not even mention a trainer or coach. The presumption is that the learner will be able to learn on their own. The trainer introduces, explains and demonstrates a concept, before the learner has a go themselves.
Even then, the trainer is playing a direct role observing, supervising and giving feedback. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. Below we list some of the positives and negatives of both options. Business leaders and training professionals should consider what they are trying to achieve and the preferences of their learners before choosing either approach.
A blend of both is often very effective, where expert facilitators offer suggestions and recommend best practice models to shape learners thinking as they move through the experiential learning cycle. The aim of experiential learning is to close the gap between training and real life experience. As discussed above, experiential learning involves learners working things through for themselves and developing their own understanding, instead of being told what constitutes best practice.
As such, a facilitator is not a prerequisite of experiential learning, but can add substantial value by providing learning opportunities and helping learners make the best use of them. Can experiential learning be digital? Are they not polar opposites? How can you experience something from a digital screen? These are common questions.
Yet, experiential learning actually finds a natural ally in digital technologies. Take video games. Very few video games begin with detailed instructions. You learn how to play most games by playing them. You learn where to go, how to get to the next level, where the enemy is, by experimenting, making mistakes and trying a new tactic. Where instructions are given, they are integrated in to the story.
Most games begin with easier challenges or levels that help you work out how it works, before moving on to longer more difficult scenarios. The advantage of this is that it is completely risk free.
If you fail in the game, you simply go back to the beginning of the level. With gamified learning and virtual reality, these principles can be applied far more broadly. In his TED talk , Michael Bodekaer explores how such technologies could revolutionise the teaching of science in schools.
Virtual reality removes the risks of conducting dangerous experiments and enables students to try the latest expensive equipment. As Bodekear points out, using digital simulations as an entry point to high risk normal tasks is not that new. Digital flight simulators have been used to train pilots for many years. Learning in Virtual Reality : Experimenting in a risk free, digital, environment.
In his TED Talk video Bodekaer explores how virtual reality science labs can revolutionise learning by providing world leading equipment and a risk-free environment. Good digital simulations provide an engaging learning environment, where the learner is fully in control and can learn at their own pace.
Once designed and created, one scenario can be used by multiple learners, across the globe. A significant problem in training is that far too many hours are spent developing great workshops that reach far too few learners. In contrast, once created, digital simulations can be reused anytime, anywhere and can be improved and modified over time. When considering digital simulations, business leaders and trainers should consider the audience and the overall benefits they will gain from a digital solution.
Whilst some learners will thrive in a digital scenario, finding gamified experiences and virtual reality inspiring, others may find it uncomfortable or alien. Always remember your audience, and if introducing something new, take steps to help them embrace it. At Bigrock, we believe that there are many benefits to integrating experiential learning techniques in to corporate learning, at all levels.
Many learners, from the newest apprentice to the most experienced leader, gain inspiration and fulfilment from experiential learning activities. Experiential activities enable the learner to go on a journey of discovery where they draw their own conclusions and feel a real sense of ownership over the actions agreed and the skills they learn. They know they can work, as they have already tried them in realistic activities.
However, this highly individualised learning can be inefficient. Without consistent processes, many organisations would be thrown in to chaos.
As such, in some cases it would be entirely inefficient to get each learner to develop their own approach. Plus, experiential techniques do not allow for learning from and building upon the wisdom of others.
Whilst all training programmes benefit from some experiential principles, we find that full experiential learning solutions are best for more experienced team members, who can utilise their past experiences and expertise when tackling the first experiential activities.
We also believe that it is important to bring teams together to help them share expertise, experience and reflections and agree an approach that works for all.
We design and facilitate both experiential learning workshops and more conventional training. Ahead of any programme, we work with your business leaders and your internal training teams to agree which style would best suit your learners and help you achieve your objectives. Beckam II, John M. Kayes, D. Kolb, David A. Smith, M.
Why is experiential learning important?
Clarifying the fine art of workshop design and facilitation, this book - aimed particularly at social workers - is the ultimate guide to setting up and running a workshop. The authors' model takes account of experiential learning and individual learning styles. Numerous examples and exercises are provided. Have you created a personal profile? Login or create a profile so that you can save clips, playlists and searches.
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Book Title: Workshops: Designing and Facilitating Experiential Learning. Chapter Title: This PDF has been generated from SAGE Knowledge. Please note that.
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