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Experiential Learning Demystified

The average retention rates for experiential learning solutions are high, in the 80-90% area.

You hear us talking about Experiential Learning in everything we do, say and put out in the media. It’s not the latest buzzword, every one of every age and every background seem to concur that learning nowadays has to be experiential in order to achieve a higher level of effectiveness.

The word experiential essentially means that learning and development are achieved through personal experience and involvement.

Experiential learning is adaptable to individual style, preferences, strengths, and direction. Which means, trainers can design their training program using the best combination of learning and development methods for each given situation.

We know that there are 4 basic types of learners. The Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic and Auditory Digital or the VAKAds. So the most ideal combination for each training workshop should address each of these unique learning qualities. To have something for the Visual Learners to see; something for Audio Learners to hear; something for Kinesthetic Learners to do; something for Auditory Digital Learners to ponder.

Only a balanced method can help the individual grow as a confident and contented learner, by focusing on individual potential and styles.

Doing so makes it easier for learners to realize that learning and development itself can be fun and emotionally rewarding. What you’ll soon get is a solid platform for all sorts of learning and development in the future. Conversely, when we subject people to inappropriate methods of training, which does not interest them or fit their preferred learning style, we put people off learning and development, sometimes permanently.

Break away from the conventional teaching method that limits people by the 3Rs: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Bring into play the new concept of multiple intelligences.

Why does Experiential Learning Work So Well?

The reason why Experiential Learning works is pure common sense, really. It is just the most practical way to learn! Take driving for example. You don’t learn to drive by watching YouTube videos and reading a few articles from the web. You DO it. You practice, practice and practice.

In the case of corporate training, experiential learning allows for a higher rate of immersion. Which means your participants are fully engaged into the content that you are delivering. By doing a certain learning activity, they are thrown into a role that is often unfamiliar to their own and thus allows for more authentic understanding and realization, experiencing genuine instinct and reactions.

The best part about incorporating experiential learning to corporate training is how it contextualizes the entire workshop. The best and most effective experiential learning solutions are based upon realistic scenarios that exist in the organization either in the past of present.

Because it is so relevant to the job, experiential learning emotionally engages your participants. It demonstrates to your participants, in real life reenactment that this is what they are going through, so they are responsible to find a solution. It completely catches their interest and plus, it is a lot more fun than being cooped up in dark room for days brainstorming.

What better way to make learning memorable? Those who have participated in the experiential learning will never forget the lessons they gained. Just as it is impossible to ask someone to forget his or her last vacation, Experiential Learning is in essence, an experience.

I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I understand. ~ Chinese Proverb

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