Imagine a baby, it continually observes the things around it, and when it starts to move about, it never stays in one place and tries to learn by messing around with everything. Learning by experiencing is the most natural and effective method for a person. In fact, the same situation is also valid for adults. That is, we learn things from what we experience every day. So, does the much-mentioned experiential learning include all of these? Before answering this question, it will be useful to also analyse the situation in professional business life.
When we bring the limits of the subject to business life, the result will not be different in terms of effectiveness of learning. Studies conducted on this subject reveal that experiential learning emerges as the most effective for more permanent learning that is reflected on behaviour. In fact, the essential question is not whether or not we learn more effectively by experiencing, the essential question is what we learn from our experiences. What employees learn gains value when it has a positive effect on ways of doing business, on reaching company targets and on their own development. The most effective method for achieving this that is accepted in the literature is employees’ experiencing of analogies of events and tasks representing similar situations in real life, with which they can develop their competences, solve structured dilemmas, paradoxes and problems, make observations and gain experience. The effectiveness of the learning is in direct proportion to the experience and competence of the moderator, as well as to the quality of the tools that are used.
When it comes to answering the question “What is experiential learning?” these limits need to be drawn: experiential learning is not a process carried out randomly, and it needs to have a positive effect. Yes, we can learn things from everything that we experience. For example, every time an employee explains his creative ideas to his manager, if his manager does not pay attention to this and even destructively criticises him, the employee will consequently learn that it would be better to keep his ideas to himself. Yet this type of learning is one that has a negative effect. On the other hand, Experiential Learning tools, by showing participants the effect of their attitudes and behaviours on others and on the whole, enable participants to question themselves, gain awareness and see how their actions affect themselves and others. As a result, they include all the stages of resolution, movement and stability for adopting new and desired behaviour. The tools for achieving this are also accepted in the literature as tools developed by using a laboratory approach.
The experiential learning tools (Ultra Vital Simulations) developed by 7th Science have been developed by expert staff and in addition to multinational firms and leading companies in our country, have also been successfully applied in international academic programmes. Below, you can access videos taken during training in CEMS programmes of our Enigma Temple and Xperion experiential learning tools that have been developed entirely in Turkey: