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  • Writer's pictureRob Buckingham

Stumbling into experiential learning

Updated: May 9, 2023

Yep…We kind of stumbled into experiential learning category. We didn't start out saying, "Let's build the most effective experiential learning platform." Nope...It was more like, "Nudges and feedback can accelerate learning, and our research proved it." But where do you fit in the industry? Here's a quick explainer of types of experiential learning and how effective they are in soft skill development. For this one, we asked ChatGPT.

Question: What types of experiential learning are used in a corporate setting?

Several types of experiential learning can be used in a corporate setting to enhance employee training and development. Here are a few examples:

  1. On-the-Job Training: On-the-job training provides employees with hands-on experience and guidance while performing their regular job duties. This can help employees learn new skills, apply theoretical knowledge to practical situations, and gain confidence in their abilities.

  2. Simulations and Role-Playing: Simulations and role-playing activities can provide employees with a safe environment to practice new skills or try out different approaches to workplace situations. This can help build confidence, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.

  3. Case Studies: Case studies involve analyzing real-world situations or scenarios to identify problems, develop solutions, and make decisions. This can help employees develop critical thinking skills and apply their knowledge to practical situations.

  4. Leadership Development Programs: Leadership development programs can allow employees to learn new skills and develop their leadership abilities. This can include workshops, coaching, mentoring, and team-building exercises.

  5. Team-Building Activities: Team-building activities can foster teamwork, communication, and employee collaboration. This can include outdoor activities, group challenges, or problem-solving exercises.

  6. Workshops and Seminars: Workshops and seminars can provide employees with training and development opportunities in various areas, such as communication, time management, customer service, or sales. Internal or external trainers or subject matter experts can lead these sessions.

Incorporating experiential learning into a corporate training and development program can help employees apply their knowledge to practical situations and develop the confidence and competence needed to succeed in the workplace.

Question: How effective is experiential learning for developing soft skills?

Experiential learning can be a highly effective method for developing soft skills. Research has shown that experiential learning can be more effective than traditional classroom-based learning in several ways:

  • Active participation: Experiential learning typically involves active participation, which can help learners to engage more deeply with the material and retain information more effectively.

  • Relevance: Experiential learning is often more relevant to learners' real-world experience, making it more meaningful and interesting.

  • Immediate application: Experiential learning allows learners to apply new skills and knowledge immediately, which can help them to see the relevance and value of what they have learned.

  • Feedback: Experiential learning often provides opportunities for learners to receive feedback on their performance, which can help them identify improvement areas.

  • Experimentation: Experiential learning allows learners to experiment and learn from their mistakes, which can be a valuable way to develop skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, and creativity.

Experiential learning is not always the best method for every situation or skill. Some skills may be better learned through traditional classroom-based learning or self-study. Additionally, some people may learn better through different methods, so it's important to consider your learning style and preferences. Combining methods is often the best way to achieve the desired outcome.

qChange key learning. We are part of a broad learning ecosystem where a diversified approach to learning, both in learning delivery and content, will deliver the best results. Our differentiator is that we use continuous skill reinforcement in the flow of work to accelerate and measure soft skill growth.

Next up: Measurement. The Achilles heel of leadership and management?

qChange Innovation Stories shares the learnings of building a next-generation experiential learning company in a sea of entrenched capabilities and status quo thinking.

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