The Benefits of Experiential Learning in Online Education

Experiential learning is the understanding and application of experience in order to learn from it. The benefits of experiential learning come from the developed understanding of strategy: the learner does not just know to avoid mistakes, but why and how these mistakes come about in order to avoid them. Here are a few of the benefits of using experiential learning in online scenarios.

 

Practice

With experiential learning in online education, you may create a simulated experience as many times as needed, and communication is also much easier. With online training such as learning games, made-up scenarios can reflect reality in order to make the learner more relaxed and used to the situation.

This could help train people for many careers; for example, in an online product management degree, training may include game-style learning, which can guide the trainee manager to recognize potential faults in both product development and company strategy. Similarly, chat-bot style applications or online peer-assessment can be used to improve communication between managers and potential stakeholders. By creating a made-up encounter with a potential client and reflecting on the exercise after it is completed, the trainee can understand what a stakeholder may be looking for in a product and how to appeal to these companies most effectively.

 

Shared Experience

One of the most effective traits of experiential learning is the alignment of group perspective; when groups are trained together, they have a greater understanding of the importance of relationships within a team. When this is done online, this alignment is more achievable. They are able to share screens to see the other individuals’ perspectives, observe each other more accurately, and peer assess each other properly.

It is also easier for the leader of the group to assess the team properly – it can more easily be recorded, making the individual skills of the team members easier to observe.

 

Flexibility and Independence

When experiential learning is put online, you can create your own learning schedule to fit your lifestyle. While experiential learning in real life is effective, it can be time-consuming and, at times, inconvenient.

However, online, you can decide. This can even become part of the learning experience itself; through scheduling your own classes, you can learn time management in an experiential way, discovering the best structure to suit you. By having the freedom to schedule their own learning, the team can develop skills that will be important in the workplace. They will learn when they are most focused, how long certain tasks may take, and how to avoid clashing schedules.

While online experiential learning is often disparaged due to the seemingly conflicting nature of ‘real-life’ experiences being online, we live in a world in which online processes are increasingly more important, relevant, and frequent – even overtaking that of face-to-face encounters in many areas. With the technology immediately at hand now, it is even possible to make online experiences even more real through projecting exact experience and analyzing it.

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