"Experiential learning cycle"
Experiential learning cycle The benefits of experiential learning are that learning is often retained over a longer period, as opposed to recall after a short time without real understanding. Work-related learning is best acquired through direct experience of work practices and environments. Stage 1: experience – students participate in an activity. Stage 2: reflection – students discuss the activity to articulate what has happened. Stage 3: generalisation – students draw out the lessons from their reflection on the activity. Stage 4: application – students apply the lessons learnt in new situations or activities. The role of business partners Work-related learning involves a partnership in learning between employers, teachers and students. Teachers are not the only people who can help students’ learning from experience. Business people can take on various roles at each stage of the learning cycle. Business Partners need to be made aware of the role that the school expects them to undertake and to have the time and capacity to undertake these roles. Work experience Business partners can support learning from work experience, before, during and after the placement. Stage 1: Experience Offer work experience placements and take part in preparation activities. Interview the student before the placement. Plan and deliver an induction programme. Develop a varied and challenging series of tasks. Act as a workplace mentor or supervisor. Be interviewed by the student. Be shadowed by the student. Stage 2: Reflection Discuss the student's logbook or diary. Meet the student for ten minutes at the end of each day. Ask questions about what the student has learnt today. Comment on the positive aspects of the student’s work. Take part in school-based debriefing. Stage 3: Generalisation Ask the student to make a presentation about what he or she has found out about your company or work in general. Conduct a formal debriefing session at the end of the placement. Provide case study information about their company. Offer videos and other literature that can be used by students in presenting what they have learnt about the industry. Act as an audience for students’ presentations and offer their own perspectives on points raised. Stage 4: Application Identify opportunities for the student to apply lessons learnt in the first week for their second week. Ask the student to talk about the skills acquired in school that are being used on the placement. Provide work-based problems that can be used in follow-up work. Suggest ways that students can develop their skills in feedback or assessment forms. Workplace visits Stage 1: Experience Offer workplace visits. Provide a knowledgeable guide. Show a video giving an overview of the industry or company. Provide worksheets to guide students’ observations. Prepare briefings to cover specific curriculum-related issues. Organise a space in the programme for students to ask questions. Stage 2: Reflection Set questions or a quiz for students to complete during the visit. Stop the video and pose questions. Ask students in small groups to produce questions at the end of the visit. Stage 3: Generalisation Ask small groups of students to make a short presentation on what they have found out about particular topics. Provide students with background information on your company and/or the industry to take away at the end of the visit. Stage 4: Application Visit the school to act as an audience for student presentations on what they found out from their visit. Advise schools via email on follow-up projects. Enterprise experience Stage 1: Experience Talk to students about their entrepreneurial experiences. Brief students on their roles in the enterprise. Act as mentors during the enterprise experience. Take on a role in the enterprise experience, eg banker. Provide an audience for students’ sales talks. Stage 2: Reflection Ask questions during the enterprise to make the team reflect on the process. Ask questions during the debriefing of the enterprise. Ask the students to describe their own perspectives on what happened in the enterprise teams. Stage 3: Generalisation Compare their experience with that of the student enterprises. Provide short inputs or written materials on general principles, eg sales and marketing. Act as an audience for students’ presentations on what they learnt. Stage 4: Application Provide examples/materials of how enterprise skills are used in their own organisation. Devise problem-solving activities based on situations faced by their own organisations. Industry days Stage 1: Experience Provide resources and written materials. Provide speakers on specialist topics, eg marketing. Act as co-facilitators of classroom activities. Invite a trade unionist to accompany a manager. Stage 2: Reflection Feed back their observations of the activity. Compare and contrast the activity with their experience. Ask questions to encourage student reflection. Stage 3: Generalisation Provide short inputs on employability. Describe the principles that operate in their industry. Comment on students’ learning, filling in knowledge gaps. Stage 4: Application Describe how key skills used during the day are required in the industry. Provide examples of further problems that students can work on. Provide work experience for students to further develop key skills and employability. Work simulation Stage 1: Experience Act as co-facilitators of the simulation. Brief students in particular roles, eg managers. Present the background scenario to the simulation, eg the industry. Provide ‘props’ and materials to make the simulation more realistic, eg electronic parts in a ‘design and make’ activity. Take on a role during the simulation, eg banker. Stage 2: Reflection Take a lead role in debriefing students. Feed back their observations of the activity. Compare and contrast the simulation with their company experience. Ask questions to encourage student reflection. Stage 3: Generalisation Compare the simulation with their experience of reality in the industry. Describe the principles that operate in their industry. Reinforce general points made by students. Comment on students’ learning, filling in knowledge gaps. Stage 4: Application Identify the key skills used in the simulation and describe how they are relevant to their industry. Suggest ways in which students can further develop their work-related skills. Mock interviews Stage 1: Experience Advise on the format for the interviews. Provide experienced interviewers. Provide ‘trainee’ interviewers. Stage 2: Reflection Ask students to reflect on how the interview went. Feed back to students the ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ parts of the interview. Offer insights based on their own experience of interviews and interviewing. Stage 3: Generalisation Provide guidance on interview technique. Role-play ‘good’ and ‘bad’ interviews for the group. Summarise the main points employers look for in interviews. Stage 4: Application Interview students for a second time so they can try to put principles into practice. Interview students at the workplace.