Experiential Learning Design: Adding Spice to Your Corporate Classroom
Sarah A Scala, M. Ed & OD, ACC
Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes
“Experiential learning takes place when a person involved in an activity looks back and evaluates it, determines what was useful or important to remember, and uses this information to perform another activity.” - John Dewey
With over 20 years of experience designing and facilitating experiential learning programs, Sarah Scala Consulting has been brought in to work with clients in multiple industries and countries. Research shows that learning is most strongly retained when people are actively engaged in it (Dale, 1946). Edgar Dale’s cone of learning shows that people retain 90% of what they do. This research supports the inclusion and use of experiential methodology and facilitation into training classrooms to make learning more engaging with improved retention.
When designing learning experiences, I often try to make learning experiential for participants. The more engaged the learners are, the higher the likelihood it is for them to remember and continue to use the new skills back on the job. This leads to a strong Return on Investment for the organization that is paying for the learning program.
Why Experiential Learning Works?
Developing relationships quickly
Decreased time cycle
Chaos and crisis in a safe environment
Common language / common mythology
Encourage risk taking
Diversity of strengths
Some ways to successfully include experiential learning into a training program include:
Initiatives (problem solving activities, indoor team challenges, outdoor challenges)
Sarah Scala Consulting builds Transfer of Learning strategies into the design of all programs that often include:
Online Feedback Loop System
Follow-up Emails with Practice Assignments (short reminders of skills)