Learning the Experiential Way Heads-On, Hands-On The Power of Experiential Learning
Performance Outcomes for this program Upon completing this training, learners will be able to: • Name and define the steps in an experiential learning cycle. • Correctly match a series of typical questions to the appropriate step of the experiential learning cycle • Distinguish between content and its related skill set
Describe how a particular body of content (with which they are familiar) can be presented in a series of experiential learning cycles • Express willingness and confidence in personally using experiential learning methodology with youth • Describe how an experiential learning cycle differs for K through 3rd, 4th through 6th, 7th through 9th, and 10th through 12th grade audiences.
Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model Experience The activity, perform it Do Share The results, reactions, observations publicly Apply What was learned to a similar or different situation; practice Reflect Apply Process By discussing, looking at the experience, analyze, reflect Generalize To connect the experience to the real-world examples
DoExperience (Doing) • The leader describes the activity before telling or showing how to do it. Encourage youth to ask questions such as, “What do you expect to see?” The facilitator or teacher is focusing the learner’s attention or setting the stage for the learning experience. • The youth experience the activity, or “Do it”. Except for basic instructions, the youth “do” before being told or shown how. • Doing questions: How is it working? What else might your try? What might make it easier?
ReflectSharing and Processing • Share what happened • The leader develops questions that they will ask the students about their experience and their reaction to it • Youth share the results, reactions, and observations publicly. • Sharing questions: What did you do? What happened? What was the most difficult? What was the easiest?
ReflectSharing and Processing • Leader develops questions that will ask about something the learners considered important • The youth will process by discussing, looking at the experience, analyzing, reflecting • Processing questions: What problems or issues seemed to occur over and over? What similar experiences have you had? How did you feel when. . . .?
ApplyGeneralize and Apply • Generalize is the “So What” • Leaders will develop questions that will ask students how the experience related to their own lives. • Youth generalize to connect the experience to real-world examples. These prompt the learners to consider how what was learned can be used in other situations
Generalizing questions: What did you learn about yourself through this activity? What did you learn about (the life skill, i.e., making decisions)? How does this activity relate to real life and not just to this activity? How did you go about deciding what to do?
ApplyGeneralize and Apply • Apply is the “Now What” • The leader develops questions that ask the students how they could use what they learned in similar or different situations. • The youth apply what was learned and practice. • Applying questions: What is another situation in which this skill can be used? How will the issues raised by this activity be useful in the future? How will you act differently in the future as a result of this activity?
Skills needed by facilitators of Experiential Learning • Focus—get the attention of the group • Observation—pay attention not only to what the youth are doing but also to how they are doing it • Questioning—each step of the model calls for different types of questions • Support and Feedback—it is important to interact positively and believably with the learners • Debriefing– make sure that all the important opportunities for learning are pursued.
Dotty M. Burrows Extension Educator 4-H Youth Development Carroll County