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What is experiential learning?

17 November, 2021

Everyone knows that Investing in employee learning and development delivers countless valuable benefits to businesses, but what many forget is that in order to optimise the outputs from learning and development strategies, businesses need to deploy varied learning experiences.

Learning theories have been researched for centuries, and David A. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory is one that has received significant acclaim and has been implemented to great effect in a wide range of learning environments.

But what is it, how can it help your employees working from home and how does it work?

What is experiential learning?

Experiential learning is based around a four-step cycle:

  • Experience
  • Reflect
  • Think
  • Act

At its core, experiential learning is learning by doing.

The learning process starts with the person experiencing something, like doing a task for example. They then have time to reflect on that experience, taking away what they have learned from the experience. After the thinking step, the person then makes a decision to act, by trying out what they have learned.

The beauty of experiential learning is that all of us are already doing it, each and every day. As such, we often don’t realise we are learning this way, as it feels like a natural process that requires no conscious decision to do it.

By taking the concept of experiential learning into the often artificial world of workplace training, we can help embed lessons effectively in both the short and long term memory.

How can home workers enjoy experiential training?

Due to the pandemic and the government’s work from home advice, many businesses are still operating with employees working from home, either part or full time.

Even with many workplaces reverting back to pre-pandemic working arrangements, there is still a large number of companies that are allowing employees to work from home and this is expected to remain the case in the near future.

It’s a shift which has brought a good number of benefits for businesses, being safer from a health point of view and requiring less office space and allowing employees more flexible working hours.

However, one of the drawbacks of having a workforce working from home is that it limits some of the learning opportunities that would be available in the workplace. For example, learning from other members of the team is restricted, as they are not physically working together.

It limits the potential of experiential learning, so how can your home working teams get involved?

Experiential learning through digital solutions

There are lots of digital technology solutions that have been developed around the experiential learning approach, including training activities that we at Bob’s Business utilise, like our phishing simulations and interactive courses.

Playing games that test skills and knowledge is another way that experiential learning is applied in digital training solutions.

At Bob’s Business, we put our focus on innovative digital training that combines cutting-edge technology with effective learning methodologies to ensure employees develop and thrive, to help businesses succeed in today’s challenging markets.

For a sneak peek at where we’re taking our innovative experiential training next, check out our blog on how experiential learning can help strengthen your cybersecurity.

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