By Terri J. Matiella, Ph.D.
UTSA 2020-21 Next-Gen Faculty Fellow
Co-Director, Core Curriculum and Assessment for Environmental Science
Senior Lecturer, Department of Environmental Science and Ecology
We have all heard the term ‘experiential learning’… but what exactly is it? And how can we do it with our students? We all know that hands-on learning helps students grasp concepts better, retain information, and learn deeper. In some areas, this fits well in the curriculum – science labs, arts classes, playing music – but how can that translate into more classes?
Case studies, simulations, and gaming or role playing can fill the role of experiential learning in the classroom. For example, incorporating real world case studies where students reflect and justify a decision can promote experiential learning, as can having them take on different stakeholder roles in a simulation. They may not agree with the role they are playing, but it can help them examine an issue from different perspectives.
Case studies can be found across the internet, and can be held as a class session, or even presented in an asynchronous video lecture where students engage with the material, then make a decision and justify their plan.
For More Review:
- Experiential Learning at UTSA
- Experiential Learning: It’s Okay to Think Small
- The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University of Buffalo (for case studies in disciplines ranging from engineering and ethics to sociology and business)
- A Collection of Teaching Cases from University of Washington
- Vanderbilt Center for Teaching – Case Studies
- Boston University Center for Teaching and Learning – Experiential Learning
- UT Austin’s Faculty Innovation Center on Experiential Learning
- Best Practices for Teaching Online
- Teaching Resources