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Experiential Learning

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them,
we learn by doing them.”

Aristoteles

In contrast to the didactic form of teaching, where participants prepare to learn something new, and then head off to try to put what they have learned into practice – during Experiential Learning the participants put ideas into contexts and then put into practice what they have already tried out.

What Experiential Learning is

  • experiential development and learning
  • the active involvement of course participants
  • gaining personal experience
  • learning by undergoing
  • a form of learning, where participants learn through what they were doing, achieved, tried out — went through

By linking the game experience with reality, participants can model how to approach analogous situations in their work and social lives. Reflecting on how the game went makes participants realise what really happened in what contexts and what decisions they made, and how these affected their own result. After the programme the participants will have acquired “common parlance”, one key feature of all experiential activities, strengthening understanding among all participants.

Model programmes

For each of the events, be it game or simulation, we take a walk back through what went on, identify the key twists, turns and forks in the road toward the solution, and recap whether the participants met the goals they set themselves, and are happy with their results.

This is followed by an evaluation of the whole process and people's roles in it, teasing out what was advantageous and is worth repeating in similar situations, and what mistakes would be best left unrepeated. This phase allows the participants to formulate their action plan for change, and they can verify how well they managed in subsequent activities.

Are your eyes getting tired of reading?

Listen to an interview with Petr Vyhnálek by ČRo OL ont Experiential Learning & the Gold of the Desert Kings (in Czech).

Download interview in MP3

Translation: Václav Pinkva