Experiential learning

Experiential learning through business simulations

Experiential learning has a more impactful and long-lasting effect. It is easier to get things done and impart knowledge when people learn by doing it rather than just seeing it in a presentation or listening to it in a lecture or workshop.

Learning by doing forms the basis of experiential learning. It differs from traditional forms of learning and training that take place in classroom-like setups. If you want to enhance your experiential learning skills you must understand that it is a continuous process that requires patience and time. It is often referred to as the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience.

Experiential learning is not the same as having a learning management system, it involves learning through immersive, interactive, and real-world experiences in a virtual setting, working at their own pace and time. There are different kinds of experiential learning training programs available, so you can choose one as per your business needs and ensure greater success for the organization and build better work culture.

There are 4 stages of a learning cycle, with a learner being able to enter the cycle at any one of these stages.

  1. Concrete learning (doing/having an experience)
  2. Reflective observation (reviewing/ reflecting on an experience)
  3. Abstract conceptualization (concluding/ learning from the experience)
  4. Active experimentation (planning/ trying out what you have learned)

Experiential learning benefits and trends

In the current corporate scenario, there has been a shift from instructor-led theoretical learning to hands-on experiential learning. It has various benefits like –

  • Improved learner engagement using interactive training activities
  • Increased flexibility which means participants get to move through the course at their own pace
  • Increased production adoption with a higher volume of training to accommodate more people in more locations
  • Increased adoption of new workplace technologies and customized learning experiences

Implementing this kind of learning might not look easy, but when done in a systematic manner you get fruitful results and the efforts are worth it. As the adoption of experiential learning increases, the way it is used and its benefits also continue to develop. Some future trends that are expected to take the industry by the storm include –

  • Shared learning

This involves working in an experiential learning environment with your colleagues to get a better understanding of how a particular product or service can be used or to experiment with new technology together.

  • Microlearning

Learning modules are delivered in tiny chunks that are totally customizable as per participants’ needs.

  • Virtual reality and virtual software labs

If you wish to learn by doing then you need to train yourself to work in a real-world environment that stimulates actual situations that may arise on the job.

Experiential learning use cases

Implementing experiential learning in your organization can be done in various ways. If you wish to enhance the experiential learning skills of your employees, here are some tried and tested ways.

  1. Testing your software APIs and integration abilities - If you’re working on an API for SaaS products, it is imperative to ensure that the software enables users to integrate their third-party software and offer customized integrations. With the help of experiential learning skills you can easily try out API in the pre-sales scenarios to check whether it works properly or not.
     
  2. Offering developer access to test environment - Some organizations wish that developers recommend purchasing a commercial license for your software. A good way to implement this is by helping them understand how to build integrations themselves. Using experiential learning you can provide C-suite with a step-by-step guide, while developers can take the liberty to experiment in the test environment.
     
  3. Setting up more third-party software integrations - If another company also wishes to integrate their product with yours then they would require learning on how to use your product. With experiential learning skills, this becomes possible in a virtual environment without putting your company’s product and infrastructure at risk.
     
  4. Provide more specialized technology and product training - If you want to train your employees for a specific course, you can always send them for specialized courses. With experiential learning training programs, you can provide hands-on learning that will enhance the skills and experience needed to work with the software. It is time that organizations start to invest in experiential learning training programs for increased employee engagement and productivity.

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