Learning is one of the most important things that can only be imbibed among students but can't be spoon-fed.
Being a teacher, you can very well understand this problem.
You can only give them the right direction, and it becomes the responsibility of the students to walk in that direction.
But, you can ease the learning work for students.
A big HOW must have struck your mind. Right?
Have you ever observed that students understand better with practical work rather than theoretical?
On similar lines, you can adopt this methodology in the classroom to help the students.
Have you ever practiced experiential learning in your classroom?
Whether you have used this method or don’t have any idea about it, keep on reading this blog till the end.
It will help you know every tit-bit of this method and see the wonderful results of your students. So, let's deep dive into it!!
What is experiential learning?
Learning is an inevitable process that you can’t even deny at any stage of life.
Experiential learning deals with the learning that you gain from the experiences around you.
Most of the time, this method of learning is considered analogous to cognitive and behavioral learning. But, it is not the same!!
Experiential learning deals with a more holistic approach to learning for the students.
Students undergo two types of learning, one is surface learning and another one is deep learning.
Surface learning is done by the students to only pass the exams. Most of the students follow this approach to learning.
But, is it the right way of learning?
Being a teacher, you know the importance of deep learning. You always try to help students to understand the concepts in a way that stick to their mind in the long run.
This is where experiential learning comes into the picture.
Experiential learning helps the students to work towards deep learning instead of surface learning. Because they learn from the experiences taking place around them.
To have a better idea about how to implement this approach in your classroom, keep on reading further.
Stages in experiential learning
David Kolb was an American educational theorist who proposed ideas about experiential learning in 1984.
According to his ideas, experiential learning can be done by following a learning cycle that undergoes four stages.
If these stages are followed religiously, then students will start getting more clarity about the concept of experiential learning. Let’s have a look at these stages so you can help students learn this method in a better fashion.
1. Concrete experience
The very first stage of the experiential learning cycle comes with offering a concrete experience to the students.
In this stage, you allow the students to learn something new or experience some concept in a new way that they already know.
For example, in this phase, students can learn something new like playing an instrument, or experiment to find whether a solution is acidic or basic that they have already learned in their curriculum.
2. Reflective observation
After the first stage is done, you should give sufficient time to the students to reflect upon the concepts learned in the first stage.
Students can reflect upon the concepts by having a keen observation around them. They can see what other students are doing and how they are doing the thing learned.
This will help them better grasp concepts.
3. Abstract conceptualization
Once the students have reflected upon the learning, now it's time for the students to think about their next steps.
Students should lay proper emphasis on improving their learning with a proper action plan.
For example, students should focus on some new ideas or innovations of doing the concept taught to them so that they can easily do that when they have to do it themselves at a later stage.
4. Active experimentation
This stage allows the students to put their learnings and reflections into action.
For example, if the students have reflected upon the experiment to find the nature of the solution, it's time to do it with their hands. This will give them room for improvement where they can improve and learn.
As this cycle keeps on repeating, the students will understand the concepts in a better fashion and have more focus on deep learning.
But now, you must be wondering this is the learning part for the students. How you can contribute to their learning?
To get an answer to your question, hold on to your curiosity and move down to the below section.
Activities to engage students with experiential learning
Teachers can adopt these techniques in the classroom to engage students with a better learning experience.
1. Pro and Con Grid
For this activity, divide the students into groups of 2-6 and give them a topic from your lesson that is open for discussion.
Allow the students to quote various advantages and disadvantages of that topic. This will help them see the topic from various other angles.
Give them a time frame of 10 minutes and ask them to discuss it with each other to know each other's perspectives. This will help them have better clarity of the topic.
2. Cross-age peer tutoring
Students can better learn from their peers. You can take advantage of this thing and divide the students into pairs. Make pairs of students in such a way that one of pro and the other is a beginner.
Between both of them, assign the role of tutor to one student and tutee to another student. In this way, students will learn from each other and give and receive feedback for learning.
3. Student-generated test questions
Once you have completed the chapter in the class, divide the students into pairs. Ask them to discuss three to five questions between them that they can ask from the chapter.
After students are done with framing questions, ask them to frame the answers in their own words. This will help them gain crystal clear concepts about the lesson.
And when the students listen to questions of other groups they get the opportunity to learn extensively.
Fishbowl is one of the most interesting activities that you can adopt in the classroom. For this activity, divide the students into medium-sized groups and assign them a topic.
Now, tell the students to discuss that topic among their group but in front of the entire class.
This will help the other students to understand the thought process of the students discussing the topic and what they were thinking about it.
Experiential learning is a great method that you can adopt in your classroom to revolutionize the learning process for students.
You can take up ‘n’ number of activities in your classroom to engage the students in learning. All these activities will help students learn among themselves and that too for the long run.
Moreover, students will also gain confidence and communication skills that will help them in the future.
So, adopt this methodology in your teaching style and see the amazing results waiting for you.
Also, do write us in the comment section what you feel about this method.
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