Canada Association of Tourism Employees

What Is Experiential Studying? – eLearning Trade

How most of the learning happens through experiential learning: The 70:20:10 model

In today’s WFH (Work from Home) environment, the old training models are not all that effective. You can’t call a coworker at odd times to show you how to do it … Many remote workers are sometimes left to their own devices to figure out what to do – and these experiences help drive permanent behavioral changes cement. A central element for the successful implementation of experiential learning strategies is understanding how experiential learning takes place. Its roots lie in the 70:20:10 rule developed by researchers at the Center for Creative Leadership in the 1980s. The rule states that a learner takes (learns) 70% of his or her knowledge from experience in the workplace – this is what experiential learning is all about! Of the remaining 30%, 20% are interactions with third parties, while only 10% are formal learning.

What is experiential learning?

At its most basic level, experiential learning defines how encounters, reflections and experiences in the workplace provide the best learning opportunities. In other words, informal experiential training is a product of trial and error. It happens when we do things in the workplace and when we don’t succeed at first, we learn from our mistakes.

What are the benefits of experiential learning in the workplace?

Experiential learning strategies offer workers a number of ways to accept behavioral changes and improve performance through learning through action. Some benefits of experiential learning in the workplace, especially in a remote work environment, include the following:

  • Conviction of behavior change
    In contrast to instructing remote employees about certain guidelines and procedures and letting them carry them out without question, experience-based learning – learning through trial and error and from their own mistakes – convinces employees to change their behavior and not just learn a new skill. dealing with a job challenge.
  • Adapts concepts to workplace practices
    A key difference between experiential training and VILT, for example, is that the latter offers a lot of theory, while the former gives remote workers the opportunity to put these theories into practice in a real-world environment.
  • Commitment creates bond
    In contrast to other forms of distance learning, the use of experiential learning strategies helps raise employee engagement to a new level. It’s about remote workers failing first and then reaching out to other like-minded coworkers (whom they may never have dealt with during the virtual training) and share their mutual learning experiences.
  • Immersive learning can be fun
    It is a fact that people don’t learn if learning isn’t fun! The experiential training not only provides a rich and stimulating learning experience, but also helps learners absorb the knowledge being taught because they are “doing” rather than just listening, watching or taking notes. Participating in real-world activities can also be a fun way to teach.
  • Fight against the forgetting curve
    Experiential learning is a training method based on behavioral changes that arise through doing and learning. As opposed to watching videos or reading a transcript, active experimental learning strategies therefore help remote workers assimilate knowledge faster and retain it longer than traditional passive training methods.

How does EL lead to behavioral changes?

Even when working remotely, help is usually always an exclamation. A colleague or experienced person could take the situation in hand and solve a problem for someone struggling with a challenge. However, today’s WFH environment has brought experiential learning to the fore by facilitating changes in workplace behavior [1]. With the job of all remote workers to do more with less – less time, fewer resources, less direct monitoring – they must experiment and try alternative solutions.

Ultimately, these experiences become indelible habits. Rather than simply learning a new way or memorizing the steps to complete a work item, experiential learning like “learning from mistakes” has the effect of changing behavior over the long term. Strategies such as role play, group training, and cross-functional training are part of the experiential training toolkit that encourages long-term behavior change. In order not to misunderstand what experiential learning is, experiential training is not just about trying, failing, and eventually achieving something. Implementing experiential learning strategies in the work environment involves encouraging employees to experiment, gain experience, and then reflect on what they have experienced. It is this reflection that ultimately anchors new behavior.

What strategies can you use to incorporate experiential learning into on-the-job training?

Here are 8 strategies L&D teams can use to incorporate experiential learning into their corporate training programs:

  1. Improving VILT through experiential learning
    With so many remote workers already using VILT, this may be a good time to incorporate aspects of experiential training into the standard VILT curriculum.
  2. Game based learning
    Creating games based on actual work environments helps virtual workers practice, learn, and fail in a safe environment while improving their skills and improving performance on key skills in the workplace.
  3. Immersive Technologies
    Use technology to restore real-world work environments like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and 360 Video to connect with learners and deliver real-world experiences that most ILT / VILT approaches cannot.
  4. Branching simulations
    Active decision-making is another pillar on which successful experiential learning strategies in the workplace are built. Branch simulation enables learners to make difficult decisions in real-world situations in the workplace.
  5. Scenario based learning for case studies, role play
    Like simulations, these learning tools encourage learners to make decisions, take risks, fail, and learn from their mistakes.
  6. On-the-job training
    Provide remote workers with access to just-in-time learning resources [2] and learning-in-the-workflow tools as part of the experimental learning experience.
  7. Blended learning
    Promote your experimental learning strategy by coaching and mentoring remote workers using virtual internship and apprentice interactions.
  8. social learning
    A central element of experiential learning is observing others and learning from these observations. social learning [3]offers a great opportunity to take advantage of experiential learning in the workplace through messaging, chats, video sharing and moderated learning networks.

Farewell Thoughts

Experiential learning is a great approach to helping virtual workers learn the skills required for the job and improve performance in the workplace. By using creative experimental learning strategies, L&D teams not only ensure fun and engagement in distance learning, but also enable long-term behavioral changes.

I hope this article provides the necessary insight on how to incorporate experimental learning strategies into your corporate training. In the meantime, if you have specific questions, contact me or leave a comment below.


[1] Change the way your people work in the workplace with these 5 powerful corporate training strategies

[2] How to increase just-in-time learning with performance support tools

[3] Create Powerful Employee Training with Social Learning – With Microlearning Videos

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EI design

EI Design is a leading provider of learning and performance support solutions focused on transforming learning – keeping it relevant, effective and ongoing.

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