Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience, and can be more accurately explained as "learning through reflection on doing",
Learning through experience is a highly valued approach in organisational learning as it keeps the focus of the learning on practical application.
Learning through experience is about encouraging learners to have a go at putting into practice what they’ve learnt. It’s about applying their learning to the real world, eg on the job (or if that’s not possible then through simulations, case studies etc), and being supported by a facilitator/teacher/coach/mentor to reflect on their efforts to develop their technique to the required standard.
Kolbs 4-stage learning cycle an explanation of the cycle of experiential learning that applies to all learners. http://www.jcu.edu.au/wiledpack/modules/fsl/JCU_090344.html
Experiential learning is an iterative process that helps embed the learning so that the new skill or knowledge is as easy to use as driving a car. It helps move the learning from the learner’s working memory to their long term memory, it strengthens neural pathways and turns them into highways. But I’ll talk more about this in ‘11 ways to create great instructional design #4 Understand how people learn – The Neuroscience of Learning’).
In this blog I want to share 3 important adult learning theories that underpin experiential learning and by knowing them will help you to design great learning experiences for people. They are:
Here is a brief description of each theory and some ideas for how to use them.
Join me to learn about Instructional Design so you can confidently design quality learning programs that get results.
Book now for iNSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN ESSENTIALS with the Australian Institute of Training and Development
Adelaide 9 September - Hobart 27 October - Melbourne 11 November
Doolittle P.E. & Hicks D. (2003) Constructivism as a Theoretical Foundation for the Use of Technology in Social Studies, Theory & Research in Social Education, 31:1, 72-104, DOI: 10.1080/00933104.2003.10473216
Fenwick, T.J (2001) Experiential Learning: A Theoretical Critique from Five Persectives. Information Services No. 385., Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Washington DC.
Marton & Trigwell (2000) Variatio Est Mater Studiorum pp. 381-395, Higher Education Research and Development, Vol 19. Issue 3 2000
Wenger, E. (2012) Communities of practice and social learning systems: the career of a concept
Wenger, E. (1998), Communities of Practice, Learning, Meaning and Identity, Cambridge University Press, New York NY
To be a great instructional designer, you need to understand how people learn: how they make sense of their experiences. How people process information and create knowledge. What motivates them to learn? What kind of learning space will give people the best opportunity to learn?
It’s important to understand that there is no one theory or principle that covers all of the complexities about how people learn. In this blog we’re going to start by looking at Knowles’ 6 Adult Learning Principles.
Adults are internally motivated and self-directed
As a learning architect it’s the thing I like doing the most.
But when you look at the way Instructional Design is explained, it sounds like the most boring thing out. Here are a couple of examples:
Instructional design is about creating great learning experiences that give people the best opportunity to learn, to achieve their potential and succeed in their work. It's is also about giving the organisaiton the results it's looking for.
Instructional design is a science and an art.
The science is in knowing about adult learning principles; adult learning theories; cognitive psychology; the neuroscience of learning; learner expectations and mental models; flexible learning; technology assisted learning eg mobile learning, video learning, eLearning, online learning; blended learning; flipped classrooms; micro learning and 70:20:10.
The art lies in creatively bringing these concepts together in different combinations to design tailored learning programs that puts the learner at the centre of the learning experience and provides the solution that the organisaiton is looking for.
Join me to learn about instructional design so you can confidently design quality learning programs that get results. Book now for Instructional Design Essentials at the Australian Institute of Training and Development: Adelaide 9 September - Hobart 27 October - Melbourne 11 November