No Image Available

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Getting more from experiential learning


Cross blogged from:

The popularity of experiential learning is evidently increasing. Need proof? Just log into any Learning & Development forum to read of how learning professionals are using experiential learning with amazing results.

Companies today are aware of the possibility of empowering their employees by providing truly powerful ‘learn by doing’ experiences. Experiential learning is one such learning methodology that gears participants to understand and apply the finer nuances of key concepts in a simple yet an unforgettable manner. There a quite a few tools out there that can let participants experience its true potential.

Organizations can further ensure that employees can squeeze the most out of this unique learning opportunity. We give you 6 critical tips:

1. Question the purpose
Questioning the purpose brings to the fore critical elements of your training need. Though the methodology is fun, interesting and memorable, it should not be treated as a way to spend a few hours. Business heads need to run comprehensive training needs analysis for judging gaps, figuring out solutions and measuring their impact on business outcomes. Thereafter they can decide if experiential learning is an optimum means of achieving them.

2. Know what it is not
Our friend Scott Simmerman wrote about ‘The Problems with Outdoor Training – some thoughts on team building’ at meticulous length. Outdoor team bonding exercises don’t translate into being experiential learning activities. Experiential learning provides people with a non-threatening environment where they can practice their skills. What it should do is inspire participants to think and reflect, evaluate situations and explore possibilities of doing things differently while embedding the learning over a long period of time.

3. Align the learning to the purpose
A myriad of experiential learning tools and techniques are available to cater to a range of needs. Ensure that the training is relevant and the method justified. As an example, our increasingly popular business simulation Enterprise Profitability is a great tool for improving business acumen and the sense of commercial profitability while running a business. However it would be of little use for enhancing collaboration and leadership traits.

4. Make it integral
Many organizations make the mistake of merely sprinkling experiential learning elements to a wider program. Conducting a day of classroom training with a tiny bit of experiential learning towards the end is unlikely to have the desired effect. It is hard to identify with the learning outcomes if they are not integrated well into the training program. Most experiential programs are capable of running independently while addressing the problem and letting the participants generate solutions. They also integrate quite well into wider training programs that revolve around base themes.

5. Transform implicit learning into explicit outcomes
Experiential learning is built to help participants correlate scenarios to the actual workplace. Yet it is prudent that facilitators reiterate the connection and make them explicit. This way the training needs of the business get accurately addressed and employees can focus on applying the knowledge instead of figuring out how.

6. Review and improve
As with most forms of training, learning outcomes get embedded in their application. It is of utmost importance to take the time to review the process. Without a proper review after every experiential task or activity, the outcomes will be forgotten. It is instrumental in making the learnings stick and ensure maximum ROI to the training.

Remember that experiential learning garners amazing engagement between participants and gives them a leading edge since the chance of making mistakes is exponentially reduced. Take time to design, plan and review the training carefully. You can be assured, it will deliver ROI which far exceeds traditional training methodologies.

So do you think experiential learning is the wave of the future? We would love to hear your opinion. Leave us a comment or two below.

No Image Available

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!