24 May 2020

Zoom to success with by learning with experience or experiential learning !

Experiential learning involves learning from experience. Sounds exciting, does it not ? The was introduced by psychologist David Kolb who was influenced by the work of other theorists including John Dewey, Kurt Lewin, and Jean Piaget. Here, knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. In other words, knowledge results from the combinations of grasping and transforming the experience.

Image Source : experiencetolead.com
It differs from cognitive and behavioral theories in that cognitive theories emphasize the role of mental processes while behavioral theories ignore the possible role of subjective experience in the learning process.

This approach takes a more holistic approach and emphasizes how experiences, including cognition, environmental factors, and emotions, influence the learning process.

The Approach
There are two different ways of grasping experience here:

  • Concrete Experience
  • Abstract Conceptualization

 There are also two ways in transforming experience:
  •  Reflective Observation
  •  Active Experimentation

These are often portrayed as a cycle.

 It is said concrete experience provides information that serves as a basis for reflection. From these reflections, we assimilate the information and form abstract concepts.1
People then use all of this to develop new theories about the world, which they then actively test.

This is a cycle as we all again gather information through experience, cycling back to the beginning of the process.

The learning does not necessarily begin with experience, Each person chooses which learning mode will work best based upon the specific situation.

 Driving a car is a good example.

           Some people begin learning via reflection by observing other people as they drive.

           Some might prefer to start more abstractly, by reading and analyzing a driving instruction book.

           Some others might decide to just jump right in and get behind the seat of a car to practice driving on a test course.

Each person has a different preference

Different preferences 

All of us is different so we all have our own way of learning. It is said that people who are considered "watchers" prefer reflective observation, while those who are "doers" are more likely to engage in active experimentation.

Kolb states that due of our hereditary equipment, our particular past life experiences, and the demands of our environment, we develop a preferred way of choosing,

These are also the basis of Kolb's learning styles. All of us have different styles.

In this model, each of the four types has dominant learning abilities in two areas. He has observed for instance that people with the diverging learning style are dominant in the areas of concrete experience and reflective observation.

Influencing factors

Kolb suggests that a number of different factors can influence preferred learning styles.1 Some of the factors that he has identified include: 
           Personality type 
           Educational specialization 
           Career choice 
           Current job role 
           Adaptive competencies

There is of course both support and criticism to this theory.

Learners in the digital world

What we as learners in the digital world need to know is that we all are unique and need to choose our own style. The digital world makes this possible.

For skills can be obtained from the globe to learn more in the manner we wish. The style of course would again need to adapt to the digital style.

We would therefore ask people to include this also in their learning methodology to move forward in life.

Hence, we would say we need to include one more learning style now that of virtual online learning. The world is digital so we all do need to step into this dynamic, evolving world with a clear plan of action now. We do also need to keep this always in mind to remain relevant and successful. Fortunately, all it requires is desire and passion.

So, digital online learning is one more method that is suitable for all us in the online world.

 In Sum

We all need to consider our learning style and choose what is suitable for us in the digital world. This again is doable as there are many online courses catering to different styles of learning. Hence, we just need to select the appropriate one.

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