The Benefits of Experiential Learning are Undeniable
If you were to rewind and reminisce, what do you think made you the person you are today? The books you read, the places you visit or the experiences life throws your way? Experiences form the crux of a human being. A person who is exposed to different challenges is more rounded than the one who bases her/his knowledge merely on reading.
With this in view, experiential learning has taken the educational world by storm. It is considered as the next big thing, which educators believe, will create more global citizens. The discerning factor is that it moves away from a didactic format of learning and places importance on actions and adventures rather than monologic discourse by teachers. The method has a number of significant advantages, some of which we will look at closely.
Why is Experiential Learning gaining an edge?
- Theory and Practical Knowledge Go Hand in Hand
Experiential learning successfully bridges the gap between theory and practical understanding of a subject. This means learners’ understanding of the subject matter is in alignment with the actual real world application of it. This is especially beneficial for neophytes who are starting out and are better equipped with necessary skills to land their dream jobs.
- Better Engagement Leads to Collaborative Learning
Problem solving, data collection, detailed research, and group experiments develop interpersonal skills and teamwork in learners. It follows naturally that learners who are exposed to this kind of learning tend to be better leaders and team players. It also forges the attitude of accepting ownership of tasks and teaches responsibility.
- Creates an Experimental Attitude
Since learners are moulded to think, ideate, explore, and experiment, this brings about a demonstrable attitude in them over time. This is an extremely beneficial trait that makes them more valuable to an organization. Companies are on the lookout for risk takers and individuals who can think out of the box to push their brand forward.
- Accelerates the Process of Learning
Rote or didactic learning relies solely on memory and retention abilities of an individual. Experiential on the other hand involves critical thinking, decision making, and action taking which results in better use of memory and muscle power. With various parameters working simultaneously, it is proven that this new age learning helps with speedy grasping of concepts.
- Facilitates Personalized Learning
Traditional learning methods heavily lean on the educator as opposed to learners. Experiential learning understands the capabilities of individual learners and creates modules for each. This way learning is more effective and works keeping in mind learner abilities. Learners also have a vast database of curriculum to choose from, so that they can look at honing various skills at the same time.
- Assessments are Accurate
Since this is not a ‘one model fits all’ kind of learning, assessments and grading is also based on individual’s abilities. Most tests assess data and practical knowledge to gauge if the student is industry ready. Educational institutions can provide precise results, which in turn help both students and prospective companies make the right choice. Analytics play a major role in determining accurate assessments in experiential learning.
- Accomplishments are Tangible
Learners have the opportunity to understand where they stand. Instead of being loaded with information that might not be relevant to their aspirations, students can choose which subjects interest them most and look at ways to improve upon their skills, based on feedback. This sort of real time feedback contributes to the learner’s growth tremendously.
These are just a few of the many advantages of this kind of learning. The most important factor remains that experiential learning shapes students who are better prepared for real world issues and can make contributions that are meaningful and long lasting. As they say, “Actions speak louder than words.”
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