Some people offer courses merely to make money. Bah!
The question is how to provide rich learning experiences so we can do this.
One powerful, true and tried method is called experiential learning. In a nutshell, a course designed this way allows students to truly ‘get it’ (not just read content or watch a video – that’s passive and ineffective learning).
I use the experiential learning cycle method developed by Kolb. I’ve used this method for years as it’s very effective. I also share it with my clients when I design their e-courses.
In this step, you set up a lesson so that your students experience something first hand to gain a real sense of the phenomenon. It affects their emotions, challenges their ideas, and attitude. It’s not meant to be shocking but to have them feel something. This also motivates them to engage with your course.
NOTE: As teachers we can’t be responsible for what our students feel or how they perceive something. We can only hope they immerse themselves in the learning in their own way. We must let go of any restrictive outcomes.
Next, guide your learners in reflecting on their experience in terms of how they felt, what they thought of the outcomes, and to identify strengths and weaknesses of a particular experience.
The famous educator, John Dewey said, “We don’t learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.”
This is where your teachings come into play. You would deliver a lesson to your student in terms of new strategies, concepts, principles, steps, history, etc. that ties into the experience they just had. The after-effect of an experience is the best time to teach something new (i.e. it becomes a teachable moment). They are listening better.
Finally, lead your students into an exercise to experiment with something new. Provide them feedback on their application of a new method or strategy, so they can develop further ideas on how to improve or maintain it.
The learning cycle could start again with the next lesson.
NOTE: Overstimulating your learners can have a negative effect. Use the experiential learning cycle for bigger lessons, or where you want to really feel and get something that is critical.
I want to start by saying an experience can take place both online and offline. We don’t have to find whiz-bang virtual games, etc. to invoke a student experience. I weave both approaches throughout my suggestions below.
NOTE: Reflections can be captured in a number of ways and can be private or shared with others. Students can reflect by …
This is where you teach
The experiential learning cycle is a powerful method for designing lessons used throughout the educational world and by many teachers.
Give it a try :0)