The experiential learning methodology is learner-centric and active, allowing participants to learn by doing, and put their knowledge and abilities to the test in real and meaningful situations. It is not enough to simply possess the knowledge;there must be a clear understanding as to how to use it. This is why experiential learning has been proven by countless education and training institutions to be far more beneficial than textbook-based traditional classroom learning. Here are five distinct advantages to experiential learning:
- Opportunity to immediately apply knowledge
Unlike classroom learning, where we essentially amass information, experiential learning provides learners with the opportunity to immediately apply their knowledge in real-world situations, and apply what they have learned to solve challenges and problems. Learners are able to test their understanding in real time and adapt their knowledge to achieve optimal outcomes.
- Development of teamwork and communication skills
In most professions, especially the legal field, a lot of the errors are a direct result of a breakdown in communication and / or poor teamwork. Experiential learning activities allow learners to cultivate these skills while applying their knowledge, and offers a much more enriching and robust learning environment than a textbook or lecture.
- Instant access to feedback
The path to becoming an expert is paved with feedback and coaching. Effective experiential learning activities offer learners access to on-the-spot coaching and feedback to help them improve in real time and while engaging in real-life scenarios. Debriefing sessions also allow learners to collaborate with each other and bask in the synergies of personal and professional development.
- Opportunities to reflect and grow
The successful learner is the one who is able to effectively monitor their progress, anticipate and adapt to various outcomes, and create contingency plans for ultimate malleability. Reflection during learning is the key to becoming a successful learner, and experiential learning scenarios promote and incorporate elements of reflection into their modules. The terms ‘expert’ and ‘experience’ go hand-in-hand, because experts not only have the knowledge, they have experience applying it and possess a solid grip on potential outcomes.
- Accelerated improvement
The feedback loop incorporated into experiential learning programs provides learners with instant feedback, enabling them to reflect and adjust their approach on the spot, offering the opportunity for instant improvement.
The value of experiential learning boils down to collaboration and real-world application. Going beyond basic knowledge gathering is the key to becoming a true expert in your desired field, and experiential learning is the most effective way to reach these goals.