Engaging the Corporate Learner with Experiential Online Learning

Designing Digitally


Corporate elearning

The 70:20:10 model shows that 70% of our corporate e learning comes from our experience of trying things hands-on, or learning from our encounters with the environment. This is called experiential learning, and it is effective because it brings about a change in our behavior, rather than just residing as facts in our brains. Professor D.A. Kolb is an expert of the experiential model of learning. He firmly believes that knowledge is gained from grasping experiences and applying it. Experiential online learning blends theoretical knowledge with application.

Importance of experiential learning

The world is a complex place and is ever-changing. If you want your workforce to thrive in this highly competitive and dynamic environment, you must train them to adapt to the changes quickly. This is possible if you provide them with experiential online learning. A well-designed experiential learning curriculum results in a highly engaging module that will keep your learners hooked. They will be invested in the course and the knowledge gained will be committed to their long-term memory. They will have a deeper understanding of required skills like problem-solving, communications, critical thinking, and so on.

There are five basic elements for a learning to be considered experiential.

  • The learning should involve two-way communication. The learners need to engage actively with their coach, mentor, or supervisor.
  • To take it a step further, the correspondence and interactions must be able to take the learners beyond the classroom or online course.
  • The learning should tap into the affective, cognitive, and behavioral dimensions of the learners.
  • An experiential learning curriculum needs to have an element of uncertainty to ensure that the learners are equipped to deal with unfamiliar situations and not just depend on rote-learning.
  • Feedback, from all parties involved, is essential for the success of any experiential learning model.

How can learning technologies boost experiential learning?

Online learning can be experiential too. Here are a few ways you can use learning technologies to incorporate experiential learning into your training strategy.

#1: Simulation exercises

Simulating real-life experiences is a great way for providing experiential learning to your employees. There are several tools available to create VR and AR experiences for your learners. Use visuals and characters that mimic real-life so your learners can identify with it. In a simulated environment, your employees are able to practice tasks and skills without inhibition. They can fail as many times as necessary and learn from their mistakes. They can practice the tasks that they perform in their job role. This type of learning experience helps boost their confidence and enhances productivity at work. Also, no matter what mistakes they make, there are no real-world implications for the organization.

#2: Social learning

Social learning helps your employees learn from each other. The chat feature and discussion forums on the Learning Management System (LMS) provide a platform to share and discuss with their peers. They can post videos and examples of their learning. You can even set them up with challenges where they compete with each other to share their learning. It is fun and really effective. Offer them points and leaderboards to ramp up the competition.

#3: Case studies

Case studies are an effective tool to gauge how well your employees understand the concepts they have been learning. In online learning, you can prompt your learners to take actions and answer correctly to be able to move forward. You can design branching scenarios where the path the learners take will be dependent on the response they choose. If they make a wrong choice, they pay for their mistake. That way, they learn what is right and what is wrong, and remember it. You can also add short quizzes to keep up their interest level.

#4: Gamification

Sprinkling gaming elements into the learning is a great way to enhance learner experience. Gaming elements encourage learners to reason through a problem and think critically to resolve it. You can create an environment that resembles the real-life environment the learner works in to enhance the relevance of the course. Consider adding avatars that have a variety of roles. Build in leaderboards and badge system to encourage friendly peer competition. Your learners will be motivated to beat each other’s scores, and in the process, remain hooked to the course.

Designing Digitally, Inc. specializes in interactive eLearning that keeps learners engaged and involved. Our Instructional Designers and Gamification Specialists use themes, gamification, stories, and interactions to create custom training courses.

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