The success of organizational training programs depends on busy adults learning new information, retaining it, and applying it on the job. While it might seem that teaching adults should be easier than teaching children, the fact is, it requires a much different approach. The Association for Talent Development published an article that addresses three adult learning theories in the context of e-learning. Experiential learning is a training method that employs a shared immersive experience that is a direct metaphor for a set of challenges commonly faced in the workplace.
Overview and Definition of Experiential Learning
6 Adult Learning Theories and How to Put Them into Practice – Explore the eLearning world with us
Kolb and Frye, two leaders in adult educational theory, say that adults learn best through active participation and reflection. This form of learning is called "experiential" because it involves hands-on experience and observation as well as discussion and other forms of learning. In a sense, experiential learning is simply learning by doing -- but there is more to the process. Not only do learners take action, but they reflect on, learn from, and take new action based on experience. Kolb and Frye describe experiential learning as a four-part cycle:. When the new ideas are put into action, they become the basis for a new cycle of experiential learning. It's important to understand that experiential learning is not identical with hands-on learning or apprenticeship.
Perspectives of experiential learning in adult education
What motivates an adult to learn: curiosity or a simple need to know? Educational researchers have come up with an array of answers to that question over the years. Adult learning theories are based on the premise that adults learn differently than children.
Experiential learning is the process of learning through experiences. It is defined as learning by doing and as experienced-based learning. It is a powerful tool for adult learners because they gain concrete experiences and reflect on them by comparing the new experiences with their prior learning.