First off I would like to disclose that I am not an expert in what this learning style is, what is in this blog is what I’ve discovered through a few hours of research.
Experiential learning is any learning that encourages students to apply their knowledge and understanding to real-world situations where the teacher directs and/or facilitates learning. This, in my opinion, creates an environment that makes sure students are learning for the real-world instead of just a test. According to Faculty Innovation Center, “The classroom, laboratory, or studio can serve as a setting for experiential learning through embedded activities such as case and problem-based studies, guided inquiry, simulations, experiments, or art projects.” I think that this is extremely beneficial that students are able to experience this type learning in the classroom, in any classroom.
Top Hat blog states, “You may be lucky (and awesome!) and get a majority on board, but you cannot please everyone.” I think this says a lot about how this learning works. This learning style, should you choose to use it in your classroom, may not appeal to all students but I believe if you try to make it apply to real life, no matter what students are interested in, they will listen and at least get something out of your lesson. Top Hat blog has a lot of information about experimental learning along with other learning styles and I like having that availability to keep researching other learning styles.
Another aspect of experiential learning is encouraging experimentation and aiding comprehension. These steps are critical in this learning process because if a student isn’t able to do what they have learned then experiential learning isn’t taking place at all. Comprehension is aided by the teacher asking just the right questions about what the students learned about either during or right after the experimenting takes place. Being able to ask those thought provoking questions will then inspire a love for learning that all teachers should be striving for.
This learning process will definitely be used in my classroom someday. My best memories of school are from when we went outside to learn, touch, and hear what was in nature and see for myself exactly what we had spent time learning about. I think that even if there is the possibility that some students won’t be engaged that being super positive about the subject will infect the students and they will be excited about it themselves. Three twitter accounts that give great information can be found here, here, and here.
An experiential learning program, Semester by the Sea, does really well in summarizing this learning style up.