Experiential learning is a type of active learning and is learning through experience and later it is important to reflect on what has been experienced. Hands-on learning is a type of experiential learning but may not necessarily involve any reflection. Learners have a more dynamic role in experiential learning than in other type of learning like rote or didactic learning which is passive in nature.
Self-initiative and motivation to learn from experiential learning is important as it requires active participation from the learners. Experiences such as museum tours, cultural exchanges, nature expeditions and workshops are some of the ways to impart experiential learning. It helps leaders or future managers learn leadership, time management, team management etc through real-life experiences rather than classroom lectures.
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It is an active type of training and development, and is an ideal method for learning skills and gain leadership. It is done through many business simulation games in many organizations, this helps to hone skills in employees and also provide the employees with experiences which are essential for succession planning or up skilling of the employees it is useful to use experiential learning in areas which require practical thinking, business simulation games are used to teach important concepts like supply chain management, systems thinking etc.
Some of the basic steps of experiential learning process are:
1. Observe & Experience through real-life scenarios, workshops, training programs.
2. Review Experiences on the basis of our understanding.
3. Analyse & Evaluate the effectiveness of these experiences considering your job & responsibilities.
4. Apply in tasks and activities which are performed by you.
5. Evaluate & monitor your application and constantly improve by more activities.
Some advantages are:
1. Learners experience real life situations and the learning can be retained for a very long time.
2. It opens up opportunities for creativity Learners have a better chance to innovate which can benefit the organization greatly, it can help create a competitive advantage for the organization.
Some drawbacks or disadvantages are:
1. Cost for experiential learning is high.
2. Difficult to implement for large number of learners.
It is different from classroom learning in terms of participation of learners, retention of learning is also better in experiential learning. Skills and experiences for practical scenarios can be practiced with experiential learning which cannot be experienced through other types of learning. People learn through different ways some prefer learning through listening, watching, feeling and experiencing. The other types of learning techniques are appropriate for different types of learning objectives and also depend on the type and size of the learners.
Experiential learning can be imparted by different ways like outbound learning programs, simulation games, tours, cultural exchange programs etc. It is an important way to groom future leaders for key positions and provide important learning without consequences. Leadership skills like trust, communication, taking initiative, innovation, creativity, teamwork are usually taught through games and activities. Some organizations have outbound learning programs and adventure foundations for such experiential learning. Many management colleges have also made it a part of their curriculum to have outbound programs for learning leadership skills.
Hence, this concludes the definition of Experiential Learning along with its overview.
This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.
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