Experiential learning is quickly becoming a preferred method of training in many workplaces with the benefits of this approach including an increased capability to make more informed and reliable decisions.
This type of learning is beneficial to all employees from juniors to CEO’s and offers a number of key advantages including accelerated learning capability, a safe learning environment, the capability to bridge the gap between theory and practises, demonstrate changes of mindset, heightened engagement levels and deliver measurable results.
Managers and decision makers in the business should also consider the ROI that this type of learning offers alongside the potential to personalise for their company to ensure that any experiences within the training system are bespoke to support company objectives.
One of the key benefits of experiential training programmes is the capability to replicate a real workplace experience in a safe environment. By taking data obtained from real-life situations and concepts, the training course can be designed to include ‘hands-on’ tasks which aim to output real results.
Balancing classroom learning with experiential approaches allows for information learned to be put into practice straight away, without the ‘real-world’ fear of mistakes which could result in company-wide issues. Instead, employees can practise considered risk-taking or learn new skills by offering them the opportunity to grow their confidence in new disciplines and develop their capacity to make scenario-based decisions.
Classroom environments can result in students regularly ‘checking-out’ or losing interest relatively quickly. Instead, an engaging and hands-on approach through experiential learning, allows learners to hear, see and touch within their training. A multisensory experience will engage more of the learner's brain and keep them interested in the topic, rather than being talked at for a prolonged amount of time.
In a study published in Trends in Cognitive Science, it was stated that people typically remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see and 50% of what the see and hear. By ensuring that all of these senses are combined into one learning experience will ensure that the people of all preferred learning styles will benefit from the course.
Through multisensory engagement, learners can then better understand situations and build a better picture of how to make decisions within these situations., building on experience and growing knowledge for the future.
Reflection and self-assessment
One of the most important elements of any learning course should be the ability to reflect and assess oneself on performance, progression and any further development needed. Learners should be able to reflect on experiential learning and make judgements about their behaviour and decisions and critique them effectively.
Through this, individuals can assess how and why they made particular decisions and what they could do better next time to further develop their knowledge. Coupled with this, learners who also receive feedback from peers and teachers, who can offer observations of the individual's actions and how the effect these have from an outside perspective, will help build a better idea of how their decisions affect the wider business.