Engaged Learning

"Resources for motivating students through interaction”

Creating Experiential Learning Experiences in the Classroom

A photo of a board game.

In addition to community engagement and problem and project-based learning, experiential learning can occur via a variety of in-class activities. These activities allow students to attain, practice, and demonstrate “real-world” knowledge within a classroom or school setting to cultivate the analytical and communication skills necessary for solving problems that students will confront after leaving school. Participating in authentic learning activities allow students to practice and cultivate skills and knowledge that they will need as professionals once they graduate. In authentic learning environments, instructors step in to coach at critical moments.

Incorporating Community Engagement into Your Course

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Community engagement is a type of experiential learning that involves study in a place outside the classroom. Often these community engagement experiences are considered transformative to the lives of our learners and to us as instructors, as well. They involve raising awareness of difficult issues and contradictions, personal growth, emotional and spiritual connections, and making new meaning.

Problem-Based Learning vs. Project-Based Learning

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Both problem-based learning and project-based learning are types of experiential learning. Problem-based learning involves critical thinking to examine problems that lack a well-defined answer. In project-based learning, students are challenged to develop a plan and create a product or artifact that addresses the problem. This article delves further into the differences and similarities between these two types of experiential learning.

The Impact of Experiential Learning on Student Learning

A photograph of three people participating in community service.

When you set up experiential learning situations for your students, they can apply course concepts and knowledge to real-life problems and situations like ones they may encounter in their own professional and personal lives. Through this process, they begin to see patterns in problems and potential solutions. When they encounter similar problems in the future, they can draw on the rich bank of examples and knowledge of patterns among problems and solutions you have helped them to build. All this experience moves them on the path to developing expertise in their fields.