Head Corporate HR & OD
Alam Group, UAE
People learn best when they have the liberty to practice and explore the way, and possibilities to prove their thought process, in other words “experiential learning”. I personally believe that learning & knowledge is important, but applied learning & knowledge is of most important, and this has a direct application of whatever we learn.
Considering the five human factors (physical, cognitive, social, cultural, and emotional), the ideal learning environment should be a mix of “physical space, and a digital space”, where they can explore the advanced ways to create new things. Also, the learning & knowledge delivery should happen at every place, it involves the human factors as stated above. By stating this, my objective to say is, to create an environment where the students have access or we are providing them the advanced learning skills by putting the ‘assessment center’ kind of setup to learn the survival skills, managerial skills, and leadership skills with various exercises, and different games. The environment where they are applying the learnings & knowledge on ground in real life situations. The objective is to make the students to face the world with confidence, and things should be familiar to them rather than surprise.
Technology has created its place in the world and there is no way to avoid this. The learning environments should provide a great infrastructure to explore the digital world and facilities, so that the students are familiar with the outside world and legal norms, that how the real world is growing. Typically, the current scenario has limited access to students with respect to the real-world scenarios, the “Theory of Learning for Ideal Learning environment” focuses on the practical education which has got the human factors in physical and digital form. Students should practice the education all across the society, community, family, schools etc.
The model for learning “Ideal Learning environment” is “LEAD” – Learn, Engage, Achieve, Discover, through “4Es” i.e. Education, Exposure, Experience & Expertise Sharing.
- Learn through Education (Classroom training (external/ in-house), e-Learning, Self-Study, Simulation Tools, Social, Community)
- Engage through Exposure (Projects, Sites, Service Providers, and Stakeholders, Participation – Events, Tasks, Social, and Community etc.)
- Achieve through Experience (Real work, deliverable, learning by doing, Coaching/ Mentoring, Social, and Community etc.), and
- Discover through Expertise & Expertise Sharing (Knowledge Transfer by SMEs, Deliver courses, Peer Coaching, Social, and Community etc.)
Physical infrastructure design should complement the kind of environment we are targeting to achieve the learning, and the digital environment should help in accessing the various sources for references and study.
On various setups the learning can exist without a teacher and transmits exclusively to the meaning-making process of the individual’s straight understanding. However, though the attainment of understanding is an essential practice that happens logically, a sincere learning practice requires definite fundamentals. To ensure that the learning is taking place, the personal and environmental aspects has to be taken care. In order to gain sincere understanding from an experience, the learner must have the ability to actively involve, practice, think out of the box, and bring new ideas/ innovations. To gain experiential learning the student must travel/ visit different locations, environments, should meet different communities, different kind of people. Ideally, the school should organize activities such as workshops, cultural exchanges, museum tours, and nature expeditions. For example, want to learn about vegetables, fruits? The best place is to go to the fruit & vegetable market. Want to Learn about animal: Go to Zoo… etc. And, lot of schools are practicing this nowdays.
Experiential Learning is more efficient than passive learning like reading or listening. Experiential learning enable the students to see the real world, and provides the opportunities for creativity by interacting with real life experiences.
LEAD… is a way of life, in-fact LEAD is life itself.
Let’s Learn, Engage, Achieve, Discover, through Education, Exposure, Experience & Expertise Sharing.