Experiential Learning - What Is It?
To put it as simply as possible, experiential learning is the process of learning through different experiences. David Kolb was the first to emphasise the importance of creating knowledge through the transformation of experiences. Lessons to explain concepts are important but using those lessons practically will cement them in a student's mind.
You can lecture a culinary student on how to carve a chicken but until they don't do it themselves, they won’t know how to do it right. The same can be applied to any discipline out there. Experiential learning is becoming more common worldwide due to its effectiveness. Students are learning more through experience than they have ever done so before.
Benefits of Experiential Learning
Due to the widespread acceptance of experiential learning, several benefits have been identified.
Better Grasp of Concepts
The lesson in a classroom might provide the knowledge of how to do something or the way that something works. However, when the students are given the opportunity to apply this knowledge in the real world, that is when they understand how things work. When a student interacts with the knowledge in their head, it becomes real to them and their mind does a better job of understanding it.
Students Become Creative
By using experience for learning, students are able to develop problem-solving skills. When they are presented with a problem, they try different ways to solve them, which will allow them to use more of their mental capacity. Problem-solving skills encourage students to be more creative, which then expands beyond their coursework and into their day-to-day life.
Mistakes Are Encouraged, Not Punished
There is no better way to learn than from your mistakes. When you make a mistake, you learn how not to do something, which then allows you to focus more on the different ways that a job can be done. A mistake is not considered a mistake, it is considered a learning experience that allows you to add more value to your skillset.
Teacher-Student Relations Improve
One reason why there is often a strain between teachers and students is a lack of understanding between the two. Students often complain that they don't understand their teacher. Experiential learning allows students to practically implement what they learn in the classroom. This will, in turn, allow them to understand what they have been taught. When a student feels like they understand what the teacher is teaching, they look forward to learning from them. This contributes to the improvement of their relationship and ultimately, their learning.