Experiential Educator Feature
What does experiential learning mean to you?
Experiential learning is the practice of applying theories and academic learning to lived experiences. It is also the result of work experiences that one has reflected on and learned from in a critical way. Combining practical work experiences that include all their nuanced challenges within a context for learning that you can’t get in a classroom alone.
Why is experiential learning a priority for you?
It’s a priority when I’m looking to hire someone who can demonstrate not only their technical skills but also their knowledge and familiarity in the industry or environment of my clients. It also provides exposure to students in fields or industries that they may not have otherwise considered in their careers. In short, experiential learning is a major stepping stone in career development.
How do your students benefit from experiential learning?
Students benefit through exposure to industry employers as well as through the experience of applying their classroom learning to real-life challenges.
What's the most challenging part of being an #ExperientialEducator? (coordinating/delivering an experiential learning curriculum to students)
There are a lot of challenges. The biggest I think is managing expectations of the major stakeholders: the students, the academic office and the company (client).
What skills do your students use when engaged in experiential learning?
My students have participated in group Capstone projects on behalf of a company (or government office). Students learn time management and delegation above all.
What advice do you have for faculty and institutions considering experiential learning?
One piece of advice is to involve the faculty advisor (and possibly the students) in negotiating the project scope of work early on.