5 Academic Options That Provide Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is the technique of learning something through a hands-on approach. This technique is different from taking lectures in a class. The experiential learning methods move beyond the boundaries of a classroom and give the student a more real experience working in the field. It makes experiential learning a more involved learning process as the student learns through all senses’ engagement and critical, creative, and analytical skills.

Experiential learning is preferred over the classroom methods because it gives the students the ability to apply them. The students learn to deal with real-world problems and how to deal with them first hand. It gives them a better understanding of different principles, procedures, and methodologies. Real-time coaching also gives them immediate feedback, which teaches them the right from wrong effectively. Experiential learning is also beneficial because it teaches students soft skills, such as effective communication and teamwork. They learn to get along with their teammates and operate as a single unit. It also teaches them leadership skills and decision-making skills. All of which are extremely important in real-life situations.

So experiential learning includes:

  • Laboratory experiments
  • Internships
  • Field exercises
  • Research
  • Studio performances
  • Practicums and so forth

Now that we know all about experiential learning, let us learn about different programs that include this learning method.

1. Counseling 

The degree in counseling prepares students to become professional counselors or professional counseling psychologists. These professionals work at mental health institutes, aid programs, community organizations for welfare, and even educational institutes. Professional counselors also practice privately. A counselor’s job includes working with people in private or group settings to improve their mental health. They work to encourage their clients so that they can share their emotional distress. The counselor then analyzes different problems and helps their client overcome these problems.

An online masters counseling degree includes experiential learning through methods like role-playing techniques. The instructor teaches the students different testing methods to evaluate the condition of their patients. It also includes internships where the students have to apply various tests on their subjects and present their supervisors with results.

2. Healthcare

Whether you want to be a nurse, physician, surgeon, or anything else, each healthcare degree includes training and experiential learning. After graduation, students undergo training during their internships and residency. Previously, experiential learning in healthcare was limited, and dissecting a dead body was the only completely safe learning manner. All the other learning practices were done on real-life patients. But technologies like VR and AR have revolutionized the healthcare experiential learning experience. Now the trainees get to learn through virtual reality. Experiential training in healthcare is also done through artificial objects like dummy dolls.

3. Social work 

A social work degree programs include courses that teach students about child welfare, family welfare, adult development, social influences, organizational theories, etc. The students can focus their concentration on one subcategory and specialize in drug counseling, administrative laws, or child welfare. A masters of social work online degree teaches hands-on techniques to deal with such situations through role-playing and internships. The students learn to deal with society and apply their models of learning in real-life situations.

4. Business 

A study in business explores the core topics of entrepreneurship and management of a business. It includes branch subjects such as finance, marketing, human resources, accounting, design, data analysis, etc. Students learn about an organization’s workings and the analytical, creative, and critical skills they need to uphold the organization. Experiential learning methods in this degree include internships, where the students work on real-life situations. These internships focus on one specific branch, such as marketing. The students then apply their marketing techniques in a real-life scenario, analyze the results, and create models according to those results. Hence, experiential training teaches them everything they need to know to start a business or work in corporations.

5. Information Technology

A degree in information technology focuses on troubleshooting and updating the programs and applications that computer scientists make. They are the problem-solvers in computer sciences and use their critical thinking skills to keep the networks and systems up and running. Experiential learning in IT includes students having to troubleshoot the actual program and software. Or it can consist of having to create models that uphold the operational integrity of this software and programs. It includes internships, where students use their knowledge to troubleshoot actual problems and learn techniques from their seniors.

Conclusion 

All sciences include some level of experiential learning. Whether it is laboratory experiments or residency programs in healthcare, it consists of some experiential learning methods. The experiential learning programs teach students critical skills and prepare them to react to real-life situations. The students learn about how they can use their studies to understand and solve real-life problems. Their creative ideas allow them to make models that will produce fewer complications. We learn all these elements through experiential learning. The list of degrees we have mentioned above is prime examples of house experiential learning prepares the student to deal with their work. So if you are interested in such a thing, these academic options are considered good choices.