How can experiential learning boost learner engagement?
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What is Experiential Learning?
Experiential Learning is a process of ‘learning by doing.’ Experiential Learning takes a practical approach where your employees will get to gain hands-on experience, insightful knowledge, and gain experience to provide real-time solutions to real-world scenarios. It is a highly efficient method to learn, upskill and develop relevant skills that can increase the efficiency of your workforce. Facilitating ExL and increasing employee learning engagement is one of the biggest pain points for HRs and L&D professionals. With Experiential Learning, L&D professionals can easily gauge an individual’s skill-level or ability by putting them through real-world situations.
Experiential learning cycle
The biggest challenge that HRs and L&D professionals face is to engage their employees in learning programs and motivate them to utilize all the benefits of Experiential Learning. There are 4 steps in the Experiential Learning cycle,
- Active experimentation: Trying out what you have learned (Practice-Labs)
- Concrete experience: having actual experience (Real-world Projects)
- Reflective Observation: Reflecting on the experience (Solving Coding/Stack challenges)
- Abstract Conceptualization: Learning from experience (Applying skills on the job)
HRs and L&D professionals can easily measure the learning ability and skill-level of an employee based on the progress through these four stages of the cycle. Experiential learning can influence learner engagement as it is easier for organizations to implement an experiential approach to their learning and development strategies.
Especially in tech skilling/learning, experiential learning includes exposure to real-world problems, and therefore learning while solving them. It includes working on real-time projects and applying the newly learnt technologies simultaneously. Practice-labs, sandbox environments, and collaborative projects are an efficient way to integrate experiential learning even when the learning is remote or blended.
Techademy Learning Experience Platform has curated courses that not only take a ‘learn by doing’ approach, but also allow you to assess what they have learned and introduce learning interventions just-in-time. By factoring in the 4 steps in the experiential learning cycle, Techademy facilitates immersive learning programs that include real-world assignments, practice labs to hone the skills of your employees, to reflect on their learning, and to consistently build the ideal skill set.
Let us look at some of the best practices that are making waves across industries while implementing an experiential learning strategy.
Improved decision making with real-world scenarios
Decision making is the thin line between success and failure of a business or organization. Your employees need the right skills and knowledge to make the right decisions at the right time. The right e-learning course can provide your workforce with the ability to take informed decisions using real-time experience and practical knowledge that is necessary.
Learning how to provide solutions through application
Every individual has gone through the traditional approach of learning which is quite archaic. This ancient approach is not efficient in knowledge retention. Experiential learning can solve this challenge through actual practical experience, which empowers employees to learn better from real-world situations and apply them to solve challenges much more efficiently.
Result oriented approach
A practical approach helps your employees improve their analytical prowess and instill a habit of critical thinking. Learning about the impact of their decisions on the business and their colleagues can help them be more confident in their skills, increase engagement and allow them to solve critical business challenges. By working and learning about real-world scenarios, they can consistently improve their decision-making skills and offer efficient solutions that drive growth.
Better assessments and evaluations
Experiential learning provides all the measurables like skills, knowledge retention and learning ability of employees through ‘doing’. HRs and L&D professionals can gain a deeper understanding and crucial insights on the development rate of an individual. With these insights, the employees can be given the right resources or knowledge to improve themselves and become more productive and efficient in their roles.
Engage and get rewarded
A reward-based incentive can greatly increase engagement as it motivates your employees to claim rewards, which can be issues in the form of certifications, promotions, role expansions, paid time-off, performance bonuses, coupons and goodies. The most effective reward is recognition, where the employee is publicly recognized for his efforts, engagement level and desire to finish their learning journey. This not only motivates individuals but also motivates the whole team to be better engaged and recognized amongst their peers.
In conclusion, the success of an employee’s learning journey is determined by how they are empowered to learn, upskill efficiently, build leadership skills and improve their decision-making skills during the training period. Scenario based learning can be applied to multiple roles and aligned to accomplish various business goals.
Is it possible to introduce experiential learning end-to-end for all your skilling programs and that too seamlessly be integrated with your existing learning ecosystems? Absolutely Yes!