Did you know that many students fail to see the relevance of their college learning, in their future work and personal life? The importance of relevance and linking learning from classroom to career led the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to declare, “By the year 2030, all graduates from Texas public institutions of higher education will have completed programs with identified marketable skills.” The good news is that our classes are already filled with relevant learning and skills development. The challenge comes from creating student awareness.
Learn – Do – Reflect. Experiential learning provides a launch pad to take your content from the classroom to the real world. It offers students engagement, activities, exercises, and assignments that either involve or are based on real-life situations. Students actively apply the knowledge, skills, and concepts they learn in class. Students follow engagement with reflection to help them process the experience. This increases understanding, improves retention of the material, and creates a sense of relevance.
Here are a few helpful guidelines and resources as you create your course:
- Visit Experiential Learning at UTSA, Career-Engaged Learning, and review Experiential Learning: It’s Okay to Think Small
- Ensure that your experiences include an opportunity for reflection and feedback
- Ensure that all out-of-class activities are accessible to students with limited transportation
- Consider how any extra time commitment might impact students with significant work, family, or sports commitments
- Create clear expectations for how students will be evaluated
- Leave adequate time for content, experience, and reflection
- If your experience requires group work, review our Group Projects resources to ensure students have adequate training in how to succeed in groups.
Examples of Experiential Learning:
- Service Learning
- Case studies and simulations
- Role Playing
- Real world problem solving
- Site visits
- Portfolios and multimedia artifacts