Experience is practical contact with and observation of facts or events. In mid-August, a large group of instructors got together for an experiential learning event with the goal of examining how to implement experiences - big and small - into the classroom.
What if learning meant life or death?
At the widest-reaching, most sophisticated level, experiential learning looks like a full-scale immersion with a live event. How do we put the learner in authentic scenarios where they see, feel, interact, and problem-solve in a dynamic environment?
|Shad Crowe, Director of Emergency Management, kicked off the event with a situational awareness exercise as he lead us around Thurston Hall. |
Shad would be running the campus' largest experiential learning event the following day - a full-scale emergency scenario that deployed UC teams as well as city resources in response to a mock emergency.
Shad's use of experiential learning ensures a safer campus for everyone.
What if what you don't know could cost you thousands of dollars?
Experiential learning doesn't have to be authentic to a real-world experience; an instructor can create impact by designing an experience to be meaningful. Rick Fenner took a basic chart on the economic principle of compounding and brought it to life for his audience with storytelling, props, and people in the room.
|On August 22nd, you may have heard the laughter pouring out of Hislop Auditorium as Rick Fenner took us through a "This is Your Life" story of personal finance. And you definitely would have heard the groans when a lack of knowledge in compounding cost us all a lot of money in our retirement.|
Rick walked us through a financial lesson we're surely still thinking about.
What if an experience fosters a fun, cooperative classroom environment?
Tim Abraham relies on experiential learning all the time in the Adventure Education classroom. With the Experiential Learning Cycle, he can leverage how a variety of experiential learning activities translate into real learning results.
|The Experiential Learning Cycle (Kolb, 2004) should include:|
Other features of the event included:
- A theme of "A little less conversation, a little more action"
- The Five Minute University
- Using a Bag of Chaos
- Dance your PhD
Here's what our participants had to say:
"So helpful and valuable"
"What a great event! I feel so renewed in my teaching."
"The session was great and helped bond the faculty attending."