Experiential learning, as you might guess by its name, is all about learning through experiences. Of course, the experiences that might inspire and invigorate one student’s mind could demotivate another.
That’s why it’s vital to give students a choice. Offering the right experiential learning course leads to outstanding educational outcomes.
This article will discuss some key points to consider when choosing experiential learning courses to offer your students. We’ll also dive into why self-guided education is so important.
- Identify learning styles
Start by identifying how your students learn. You can do this through one-on-one chats, a group discussion, or by creating a quick survey for your students to fill out.
The three main learning styles are:
Visual learning refers to learning while viewing, auditory refers to learning while listening, and kinesthetic refers to learning through touch.
These three main styles can overlap to form more nuanced learning approaches. For example, a student who learns best through both viewing and listening is a visual-auditory learner. Such a student may prefer to gather and express knowledge through reading and writing.
- Consider goals and aspirations
Next, consider your students’ individual and collective goals and aspirations. Look at both short and long-term options.
For example, is your student hoping to climb the career ladder in the future, or would they prefer to start their own business? Are they aiming for a university degree or an apprenticeship?
You can look beyond work-specific goals, too. Does your student have other life aspirations, like starting a family or growing a home garden?
The answers to these questions will help you tailor an experiential learning course to help your students achieve these goals.
- Recognise existing skills and interests
By recognising your student’s existing interests, talents, and skills, you can set them on the right path in their experiential learning journey.
If your student is artistically skilled, for example, you might invite them to create a social media page to promote an imaginary brand or product. They could design creative imagery and branding to share on this page.
Alternatively, if your student is interested in animals, you might plan a trip to the local zoo. Students could interact actively with the zoo environment by helping the keepers clean enclosures or prepare the animal feed.
- Assess practicality
Finally, before planning any experiential learning course, it’s important to assess the practicality of any tasks involved.
For example, a student might have a keen interest in science and outer space—but meeting or working with a real astronaut might not be a practical option. Instead, aim for something achievable, like building a functional model of the solar system.
In the same way, for students interested in law, practising in a real courthouse setting might not be viable. Instead, you could simulate the experience by creating a mock court environment.
Offering the right experiential learning courses to your students is crucial for achieving positive educational outcomes. By allowing your students to guide their learning journey—built around their unique interests, skills, and goals—they will thrive.