Experiential learning is a powerful tool that focuses on one simple idea: individuals learn best by doing. Whether it’s a hands-on training session or team bonding by working through a shared activity, the benefits of this approach include faster assimilation, enabling individuals to apply what is being taught, increased engagement through collaboration, and opportunities for more personalized learning experiences. Meeting and event planners who choose to apply experiential learning strategies to everything from corporate events to training sessions can expect to increase engagement of attendees, have higher levels of learning retention, and improve the transfer of knowledge and skills to the real world. Some of the most popular and successful experiential learning techniques can be easily incorporated to enhance your next event experience.
Case studies are based on actual situations that have occurred in either a specific company or business field to provide solid, real-life examples that build on basic principles. Cases can be presented in a variety of ways, enabling participants to answer open-ended questions, develop potential solutions, or simply analyze and understand data. By examining situations that have happened in the past, attendees can gain invaluable insight into the behaviors or actions required to better deal with similar situations in the future.
Simulations are designed to mimic real-world professional problems that employees may face in specific roles. This technique encompasses both live and virtual environments using electronic, mechanical, or software-based activities for a participant to interact with. Simulations can be used to assess competencies, customize training, and allow learned concepts to be directly applied. Participants are able to practice specific skills and are able to make educational mistakes in a safe environment. The flexibility of simulations offers a practical method for educating and preparing participants for both expected situations and less common scenarios that they may encounter.
MITAGS and Maritime Conference Center are home to two of the largest ship simulators in the world. These are often used as part of MITAGS’ maritime training courses and for industry research projects, but they can also be used for team-building and experiential learning experiences during your event. Contact us for more information.
Taking real-life situations and role-playing experiences, challenges, setbacks, and outcomes is another way to provide a safe way for employees to encounter various scenarios where they can make and learn from mistakes and experience hands-on learning. This approach builds confidence, develops skills, and engages individuals in creative problem solving. Role-playing can be as simple as having a trainee participate in a mock phone call from a difficult customer, or they can be expanded to help employees to appreciate and understand specific work situations from different perspectives. For example, a Customer Service manager might play the role of a customer or a Manager might play the part of an employee in order to experience the impact that a specific policy or procedure will have on others.
There are an incredible number of team building activities that can be incorporated into a meeting or event, offering a fun and interactive way for participants to bond and learn to better work together. Best of all, many team building activities are both fun AND experiential. For example, scavenger hunts can be created to present challenges that are linked to specific skills, goals, and outcomes. Team problem solving is another great experiential exercise that teaches the need for clear communication, willingness to cooperate, and the ability to listen. Outdoor activities and hands-on games can also provide great opportunities for experiential team building.
Experiential learning is not only beneficial for participants. Participants learn to better interact with customers, coworkers, and management by learning from interactive techniques. Enhance your next event at the Maritime Conference Center, by applying the concept of experiential learning, and ensure that participants are truly prepared for the complex challenges that characterize the modern business world.
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